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Historical Scmciet y 


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buffalo, new york: 









President, .... 
Vice-President, ... 
Recording Secretary, . 
Cor. Secretary and Librarian, 



Hon, henry W. HILL. 


Treasurer, ..;... GEORGE W. TOWNSEND. 


Hon. James M. Smith, 

James Tillinghast, 

Dr. F. H. James, 

Cyrus K. Remington, 

J. N. Larned, 

Hon. Henry A. Richmond, 

Charles J. North, 

George S. Hazard, 
Dr. Joseph C. Greene, 
Frank H. Severance, 
Dr. Albert H. Briggs, 
Rev. Thos. R. Slicer, 
J. N. Adam, 
Edmond W. Granger, 

Hamilton Ward, Jr. 


Frank H. Severance, Chairman. 
Hon. Henry \V. Hill, 

J. N. Earned, 

Rev. Thomas R. Slicer. 

Frank H. Severance. * 


Buffalo Historical Society, Volume III.," although no other 
*' Transactions" had ever been published, the presumed intent 
being to continue the series begun in 1879. To avoid further 
confusion, therefore, the "Red Jacket " ''Transactions" is here 
regarded as Volume III. of the Society's "Publications," and 
the present collection is numbered " Volume IV." 

The aim of the publication committee in preparing this 
volume has been to put into print some of the more valuable 
papers which have been submitted to the Society from time to 
time — formerly at "club meetings," but of recent years at 
gatherings in its rooms to which the public are invited. Al- 
though there is wide variety in the subjects, yet several of the 
papers may be grouped as annals of war and trade, or chronicles 
of commerce, in Buffalo before the burning of the village, Decem- 
ber 30, 1813. To this group belong " The Adventures and 
Enterprises of Elijah D. Efner," "The Early Firm of Juba 
Stbrrs & Co." and to a less extent, the narratives drawn from 
the journals of John Lay and the papers on Judge Wilkeson. 
Obviously, the unpublished material relating to Buffalo prior to 
its burning, is meager; and it was thought well to bring these 
papers together in this volume, thus giving it, in some degree, a 
definite character, even as the papers on early transportation, the 
Inland Lock Navigation Co. and the Erie Canal give character 
and peculiar value to Volume II. 

The use of certain memoirs and reminiscences of chiefly local 
.interest is justified b^' the primary character of these Publications. 
Other papers there are, of general interest; among them, Mr. 
Bird's- "Reminiscences of the Boundary Survey," "The Free 
Soil Convention of '48," by John Hubbell and "The Flint 
Workers," by Dean Harris. Of notable value are Mr. William 
Clement Bryant's paper on " Captain Brant and the Old King," 
and the study of the " Development of Constitutional Law in 


New York State," by the Hon. Henry W. Hill. Mr. Bryant, 
who it is believed was the first member of the Society to go to 
that rich mine, the Canadian Archives, for data illuminating the 
history of our region, has rendered no slight service to the 
cause of truth by showing the real relations of Brant and Old 
King and the part which each bore in the much misrepresented 
affair of Wyoming., Mr. Hill's paper is not merely a chronicle 
of Colonial charter rights, and the work of the several Constitu- 
tional Conventions held in New York State, but is a most pains- 
taking treatise on the development of Constitutional law within 
our Commonwealth, and of the ever-increasing scope and fixity 
of popular rights under the Constitution. None will better 
appreciate its value than its most capable critics, experienced 
members of bench and bar, and especially Mr. Hill's coadjutors 
in the Convention of '94. 

Other papers in this volume, including the '' Documents and 
Miscellany " of the Appendix, offer variety, perchance some- 
thing of entertainment, and it is hoped, much which will be 
deemed of worth, to the reader who even casually gives heed to 
the things of the past, out of which our community of the pres- 
ent has sprung. 

The use of a portrait of the late Bishop Coxe as frontispiece 
is abundantly justified, not merely by his eminence in the com- 
munity, in the labors of his church and in the world of letters, 
but also by the fact that b.e was for many years an active member 
of thi3 Society. The other illustrations, courteously placed at 
the service of the Society by Messrs. George E. Matthews & Co., 
proprietors of the Illustrated Express, in which journal they 
originally appeared, add interest to the articles which they 

As a whole, the volume is at least an evidence of vitalitv on 
the part of the Buffalo Historical Society ; and it is hoped its 


reception by the public may warrant an early publication of a 
succeeding volume, for which much unpublished material of 
historic consequence is available. F. H. S. 




Offiercs of the Society, .... 

Preface, ....... v. 

Reminiscences of the Boundary Survey between the United 

States and British Provinces, . William A. Bird, i 

Captain Brant AND the Old King, . IVilliam Cletnent Bryant, 15 

Adventures and Enterprises of Elijah D. Efner. — An Autobio- 
graphical Memoir, . . . . . -35 

Buffalo's First Mayor, Dr. Ebf.nezer Johnson, /'. M. IngUhart, 55 

Samuel WiLKESON, . . . Rev. John C. Lord, D. D., 71 

/'The Harbor-Maker of Buffalo." — Reminiscences of 
Judge Samuel Wilkeson, by Samuel A. Bigelow, recorded 
by . . . , Rev. Albert Bigeloio, 85 

The Early Firm of Juba Storrs cic Company, Rev. Albert Bigelo-.u, 93 

The Journeys and Journals of an Early Buffalo Merchant, 

Frank H. Severance, 125 

The Free Soil Convention of 1S4S, held in Buffalo, 

.... John Hubbell, 147 

Development of Constitutional Law in New York State, and 
the Constitutional Convention of 1894, 

Hon. Henry IV. Hill, 1 63 

Geoi^ge W. Clinton, . . . Hon. David F. Day, 203 

A Forgotten People: The Flint Workers, 

Very Re-j. William R. Harris, 227 

The Cholera in Buffalo in 1S32, . Hon. Lewis F. Allen, 245 

Roswell Willson Haskins, . . L. G. Sellstedt, 257 

Nathan Kelsey Hall, . . 'Hou. James O. Putnam, 2S5 

The Postal Service of the Unitfd States, in connection with the 
local^history of Buffalo, 

Hon. A\2th.:n A'. Hall and Thomas Blossom, 299 



The Speculative Craze OF 1836, , . Guy H. Salisbury^ 317 

Random Notes on the Authors of Buffalo, Frank H. Severance, 339 


Biographical Notes : 

I. Arthur Cleveland Coxe, Bishop of Western New York, . 381 

II. The Rev. Albert Bigelow, .... 382 

Docuynents and Miscellany : 

The First Buffalo Book, ..... 385 

Storrs' & Co.'s " Indian Show," .... 415 

Records OF the "Board OF Trade Regiment," . . . 416 

The Dr. Jos. C. Greene Collection, . . . 424 

Index, ........ 427 


Portrait, Bishop A. Cleveland Coxe, . Frontispiece 

Portrait, Rev. Albert Bigelow, . . Faces page 93 

Remains of Neutral Palisaded Fort, . . Faces page 227 






The line which is now the boundary between the United 
States and the British provinces was first established by Royal 
proclamation Oct. 7, 1763, and confirmed by an act ot" Parlia- 
ment in 1774, fixing the limits of ^' the Province of Quebec." 

The 45th parallel of latitude was ascertained and monuments 
placed on Lake Champlain "about two and one-half miles north 
of Windmill Point," by Sir Henry Moore, Governor of New 
York, and by the' Commander-in-Chief of the province of 
Quebec, in the year 1766, confirmed by an order in Council in 
176S and the line ordered to be run between the provinces. 

* Wilii.un A. Bird, born in Salisbury, Conn., March 23, 1796, died in Buffalo, Aug. 
19, 1S7S. *• In 1S17, he engaged in the service of the Boundary Commission to estab- 
lish the line between the L'nited States and British America, his uncle, Gen. Peter B. 
Porter, being the chief Commissioner on the part of the United States. He began his 
labors as Secretarv- of the Commission near St. Regis, and so continued until 1S19, 
when he became the head of the surveying party and continued his service .... until 
the entiresurvey to the waters of Lake Superior was completed." From iSiS he made 
ButValo \Bl.ick Rock> his home, and in 1S20 built the substantial brick house now No. 
inS Niagara Street, which was his home for 5S years.— For sketch of his life, by Hon. 
Lewis F. .M!en. see " History of the City of Buffalo," etc., edited by H. P. Smith, 
vSyracuse, i>M\ Vol. i.,pp. 699-701. 


This was the line intended to be described as the boundary 
by the Treaty of Peace in 1783, and by that treaty the line was 
extended westward and northward to the northwest angle of the 
Lake of the Woods. 

The Treaty of Peace of 181 4 at Ghent followed the same line 
of boundary intended by the Treaty of 1783, referring through- 
out to the true intent and meaning of that treaty. 

The treaty at Ghent provided for the survey and determining 
of the line as follows : 

By the fourth article a Board of Commissioners was created 
of one commissioner to be appointed by each Government, to 
decide on and establish the line in the Bay of Fundy and Passa- 
maquaddy Bay. Thomas Barclay was appointed on the part of 
Great Britian and John Holmes of Maine by the United States. 

By the fifth article another Commissioner was emj^owered to 
establish the boundary '' from the source of the River St. Croix, 
north to the northwest angle of Nova Scotia; thence along the 
Highlands which divide the waters that empty themselves into the 
River St. Lawrence, from those which fall into the Atlantic 
Ocean, and to the northwestern head of Connecticut River, 
thence down that stream to the 45th degree of latitude, and on 
that west to the river Iroquois or St. Lawrence." Cornelius 
Van Ness of Vermont was the Commissioner on the part of the 
United States and Thomas Barclay on the part of Great Britain. 
These two Commissions met first at St. Andrews in November 
in 1816. 

The sixth article provided for a third Board of Com- 
Tnissioners to ascertain and decide upon the line from the point 
where the 45th parallel of latitude strikes the St. Lawrence, up 
through the middle of that river, Lake Ontario, the Niagara 
River, Lake Erie, Detroit River, Lake and River St. Clair, and 
through Lake Huron to the St. Mary's River. General Peter B. 
Porter was appointed Commissioner by the United Slates; and 
Colonel John Oglevie of Montreal on the part of Great Britain. 
Colonel Oglevie died at Amherstburgh in October, 1S19, and was 
succeeded by Anthony BaTclay of New York, since Consul- 
General of the British Government to the United Slates. 

The seventh article provided that the same Hoard of Commis- 


sioners, after having settled and agreed on the line under the 
sixth article, should proceed to fix and determine the line 
''according to the true intent and meaning of the Treaty of 
1783," from Lake Huron to the northwest angle of the Lake of 
the Woods, and to cause such parts to be surveyed as should be 

The eighth article authorized the same Boards of Commis- 
sioners to appoint secretaries and such surveyors and other per- 
sons as they should judge necessary; to make duplicates of their 
maps, reports, statements and accounts, and deliver them to the 
agents of the two Governments, who should be appointed to 
manage the business on behalf of their respective Governments. 

The Commissioners, secretaries and surveyors were all sworn 
to perform their respective duties impartially, without regard to 
their nationality. The agents were considered the advocates or 
attorneys for the Governments by which they were ai)pomted. 

The Commissions under the fourth and fifth articles, although 
they agreed to certain parts of the line in the Bay of Fundy and 
River St. Croix, could not agree upon that part from the River 
St. Croix to its intersection with the 45th parallel, nor upon that 
parallel, which proved to be considerably south of the line as be- 
fore run and marked. They therefore ''agreed to disagree" 
upon the whole line. 

By the terms of the Treaty the agreement and decision of the 
Commissioners was final and conclusive; but in case of disagree- 
ment the questions were to be submitted to some friendly Power 
as arbiter. This portion of the- boundary was therefore sub- 
mitted to the King of the Netherlands as arbiter, who made 
an elaborate report and decision in January, 1831, which, how- 
ever, was not satisfactory to either party, and was protested 
against by the American Minister at the Hague, on the ground 
principally that the arbiter had described a line not in the Treaty 
and therefore not delegated to him by the higli contracting 
parties. The award therefore became of no account. 

That boundary remained unsettled "anj.1 a source of conten- 
tion and ill-feeling, which came neaf involving^the two Cxovern- 
ments in serious collisions, until 1842, when it was finally settled 
by the " Washington" or Webster-Ashburton Treaty. 




In May, 1817, the persons who were to compose the parties 
under the sixth and seventh articles of the Treaty, assembled at 
St. Regis, near where the 45th parallel of latitude meets the St. 
Lawrence, and soon encamped on an island opposite that village. 
The two camps, the British and American, were separate; and 
the persons in each were the Commissioner, secretary, the sur- 
veyors, steward, cook, waiter, boatmen and axmen, numbering 
about twenty. It was agreed that each party should survey 
separate sections of the rivers and lakes joining their work on a 
common base to be agreed on and measured by the surveyors of 
both parties together. Thus after measuring a base, one party 
surveyed ten or fifteen miles to a convenient place to measure 
another base from, which the other party would commence, and 
in like manner the whole line was surveyed. Four maps were 
made of each section, one for each Government and one for each 

The starting-point was first to be ascertained, and in addi- 
tion to the means we had for fixing that point, the Commission 
was much indebted to Andrew EUicott, then a professor at West 
Point, who came at the request of the Government, with his 
rude but remarkably accurate "Zenith Sector" of seven feet 
radius, constructed by David Rittenhouse of Pennsylvania and 
himself. Mr. EUicott continued his observations and remained 
with the party about six weeks, while the camp was at St. Regis. 

The survey was trigonometrical and the distances between 
ascertained points were carefully delineated by the draftsman. 
Measurements, observations and notes were taken during the 
summer and the calculations and maps were prejjared in the 
winter. Soundings were made in all places where a doubt 
might exist as to the navigable channel, or the relative quantities 
of water in the several channels. 

A complete and perfect survey was thus made of the River 
St. Lawrence into and to include all the islands in the northerly 
end of Lake Ontario, and of the Niagara River, to Lake Erie : of 
the western end of Lake Erie from a line extending from San- 
dusky Point to Point Pelee and thence continuous, through the 
Detroit River, Lake and River St. Clair to Lake Huron, and of 
the northern end of Lake Huron from the Bic: Manitou Island 


to the Neebish Rapids at the outlet of the River St. Mary's, which 
was decided to be the end of the sixth article. The principal 
points on Lake Huron were established by astronomical observa- 

In continuing the survey under the seventh article, from 
Lake Huron, a perfect survey was made of the St. Mary's River 
to Lake Superior ; as there are no islands from the St. Mary's to 
Isle Royale in Lake Superior, no survey was made of that part of 
the lake by this party. The maps of Captain Bayfield of the 
British Navy were adopted. A survey was then continued from 
the north end of Isle Royale to the Lake of the Woods, and I do 
not know that I can do better than make extracts from a letter 
written by Mr. Ferguson (who succeeded the writer in charge of 
the survey) to me, dated at Fort William, January 20, 1823, as 
follows : 

I have not written to you since we left Micbilimacinac ; in any other part 
of the world, it would be a sufticient excuse to say that 1 had received no letter 
from you. The truth is we have been very busy or very idle, and they told us 
after the canoes left in August, we should have nootheropportunity of writing. 

I expected our survey would have been one continued measurement, but 
in this I was mistaken. The rivers are all either broken into cascades or 
rapids, or where they are not, the banks are steep and covered with woods. 
To measure anywhere but on the water would have taken a century, so I 
measured the distances by log and took the courses with a boat compass, and 
have protracted them by minutes and seconds of time. The instructions of the 
Commissioners say we must per.imbulate the waters each way and this I 
suppose is a kind of perambulation. 

In the large Lakes I began by measuring a base and intersecting points, 
making a kind of trigonometrical survey of it, and thus we continued throughout, 
except that points were determined without the formality of setting up stations 
at them and a series of lines measured by log. The protraction agrees very 
well and comprehends abour eighty miles, a chain of little lakes running in 
about the same direction westward. To make things more sure I intend 
measuring along these lakes in the course of the winter, on the ice. determin- 
ing some of the principal points astronomically, * * * I determined the 
position of Isle Royale by pins. The base will be four miles long and is to be 
measured on the ice. I also made a survey of the island by log. I spent 
twenty days upon it and although there were sc\-eral good observations for 
longitude within that time, the nights on which they happened were not clear. 

The Canadians furnishevl by Mr. Morrison knew nothing alnnit canoes but 
to paddle in them and had we not got a man from Mr. Stewart at .Mackinaw 


our canoes would never have got across the grand portage. The small lakes 
freeze up about the middle of October and do not open till about the first of 

There are three gentlemen resident at the Fort (one a relative of the 
President), but it is tremendously dull. If you are in a city you see new faces 
every day but where there are only half a dozen together you soon exhaust 
every common and uncommon source of amusement, and after that stalk about 
each other as solitary as if you were perfectly alone. There are two fiddles 
and a triangle here and every fortnight since the first of November has been 
distinguished by a ball. The women and children amount to about thirty, 
and with our establishment there are near as many men. They dance Scotch 
reels and are as merry as may be. The Northwest Company encourage 
these dances to keep their men in spirits and prevent them from growing 
morose and savage. Before the union of the Northwest and Hudson Bay 
Companies, there was a noted difference between the dependants of each. As 
the Hudson Bay people had chiefly small forts and but few dances, they 
became spiritless and had no relief from the monotony of their existence ; the 
case was different with the others ; they were lively and endured hardships 
much more wilhngly. At the Fort at Ashabarta they had a fiddler who could 
play two tunes only, and the gentlemen of the Fort paid him two hundred 
livres a year for his music. 

I don't dance and therefore have no part in the diversion. I however 
stood godfather to a ball a few weeks ago. You have heard that Captain 
Bainbridge when off Constantinople had on his table at a public dinner, a 
pitcher of water from each continent of the globe. The drinkables at my 
entertainment were not so numerous, but more characteristic and I think as 
appropriate ; the whiskey being a native growth and the rum smuggled across 
the Niagara — a capital commentary on the last part of Colonel Oglevie's toast, 
that the boundary line *' was for all a truce upon the waters." 

Our men from Black Rock are dandies here and do us honor. I left my 
clothes, except necessaries, at Mackinaw and the inventory of my shirts would 
be nearly as short as Prince Henry's account of the wardrobe of Poins, " as 
one shirt for superfluity and one other for use," 

The survey was continued through the chain of small rivers 
and lakes to and through the Lake of the Woods and was com- 
pleted in the year 1825. 

Although the Commissioners had frequent consultatioTis in 
relation to the principles which should govern them in locating 
the line along the rivers where there were islands, they did not 
agree upon any which should not Ite varied as circimistances 
might require, except that no island should be divided. The 
middle distance from main shore to main shore was claimed as 


the true line on the one part ; the greatest quantity of water, the 
aium aquce or navigable channel, on the other part. 

After the surveys and maps were completed, the surveyors 
were directed to trace a middle line, and to estimate the quanti- 
ties cut or crossed by that line, with the maps and the data 
furnished of quantities and the doubtful islands and of the 
soundings. The Commissioners proceeded to mark down the 
line. Where there were many islands and many channels the 
process was slow and difficult. Conflicting interests and opinions 
had to be adjusted and concessions made by each. In this 
manner they proceeded, keeping a sort of debit and credit 
account of quantities in the doubtful islands. They thus agreed 
upon the boundary for the whole distance included under the 
sixth article of the Treaty, and reported to their respective 
Governments, which line by the provisions of the Treaty was 
final and conclusive. 

Of this line Bouchette in his ''Topographical and Statistical 
Description of Canada," speaks in the following complimentary 

The immense multitude of islands dispersed, not only in the St. Lawrence, 
but at the discharge of the straits or rivers that connect the Great Lakes, must 
have rendered the adjustment of this section of the boundary excessively intri- 
cate and embarrassing, especially as many of the islands were no doubt 
important as points of military defence or commercial protection on the 
frontier, that either party would naturally be anxious to retain. The relin- 
quishment of Barnhart's Island by the British Commissioners .... was con- 
sidered an important sacrifice ; but the exclusive possession of Grand [or Ix)ng] 
Isle, which was left to Great Britain, was esteemed an adequate equivalent for 
its surrender. 

The whole line as established by the Commissioners seems to 
have given very general satisfaction ; indeed the only complaint 
which has come to the knowledge of the writer was in relation to 
Barnhart's Island, and about that it is believed that the British 
Government at home and in Canada have been entirely satisfied. 

This plan of dividing the doubtfiil islands operated favorably 
in our immediate vicinity, as Grand (or Long) Island in the St. 
Lawrence, containing about thirty thousanci acre's, wiis given to the 
British side. The Commissioners came into the Niagara River with 
much the larger quantity of doubtful island territory on that side. 



There was therefore no hesitancy in appropriating Grand Island 
in the Niagara River to the United States. That island (other 
things being equal) would have been questionable, as the largest 
surface of water is probably on the American side, although the 
quantity of water is about three-fifths on the British side. 

An estimate from measurements of velocity and depth showed 
that there then passed on the Canadian side, in cubic feet, 
12,802,750 feet per minute; on the American side, 8,540,080 
feet; or a whole quantity of 21,342,830 feet. To prove the 
accuracy of these measurements, the quantity passing Black Rock 
was calculated on a subsequent day, which resulted in finding 
21,549,590 cubic feet to pass per minute. The result was very 
satisfactory, as a very little difference in the or velocity of 
the wind would cause a much larger difference. 

The Commissioners w^re not successful in settling the 
boundary under the seventh article. The first disagreement was 
in relation to St. George's or Sugar Island in the St. Mary's 
River; the British Commissioner claiming that the line should 
run on the western or American side of that island. On the 
American side is a broad surface of water, shallow and not 
navigable for vessels, and only about half the distance as bv the 
eastern channel, which is deep and is the only one in which lake 
vessels can ascend to the falls above. To this claim the Ameri- 
can Commissioner would not consent. From a point about one 
mile above that island the line was agreed upon and settled to 
Lake Superior, and through that lake '' in a straight line passing 
a little to the south of Isle Canoebuf to a point in that lake one 
hundred yards to the north and east of a small island named on 
the map ' Chapeau ' and lying opposite and near the north- 
eastern point of -Isle Royale.*' 

From that point to another point on Lac la Pluie near the 
foot of Chaudiere Falls they could not agree. The British Com- 
missioner claimed that the boundary between those points should 
pass through Lake Superior to Fond du Lac and thence up the 
River St. Louis, following a clwiin of small streams and lakes and 
innumerable portages to Lac la Pluiei from which both Com- 
missioners were agreed on the line to its lerniinus at the north- 
west angle of the Lake of the Woods. The American Commis- 


sioner, as a counter project, claimed that the line from Isle 
Royale should run directly to the mouth of the river Hamanisti- 
guia, and thence to the point in Lac la Pluie ; but proposed that 
the route by the Pigeon River should be adopted. As each 
Commissioner was tenacious on these points of disagreement 
those parts of the boundary remained unsettled until the Treaty 
at Washington in 1842. 

The points of disagreement by the Commissioners under the 
fifth and seventh articles of the Treaty at Ghent were finally 
adjusted by the Washington or Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 
1842 and at the risk of overtaxing your patience I will transcribe 
from that Treaty some portions of its decisions. 

The uncertain knowledge of the country at the time of the 
making of the Treaty of 1783 led to a vague and uncertain north- 
eastern boundary, a fruitful source of disputes and ill-feeling in 
relation to it. The ivords of that Treaty are : 

From the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, viz : that angle which is 
formed by a line drawn due north from the source of Saint Croix River to the 
Highlands; along the said Highlands which divide those rivers that empty 
themselves into the river St. Lawrence, froin those which fall into the Atlantic 
Ocean, to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut River. 

The letter of this description would carry the line to near 
the 48th degree of latitude and many miles north of Quebec. 
The nature of the country renders it almost impossible to draw 
such a boundary as could be known and be understood. It would 
have been very inconvenient and disagreeable to the British 
Government. The Treaty recites that it is intended for ''recip- 
rocal advantages and mutual convenience." Its spirit therefore 
seems to justify the compromise made by the Treaty of Washing- 
ton, whereby the United States yielded a large tract of disputed 
territory along the Highlands, but obtained a full equivalent in 
the strip of territory along the north of the 45th {parallel of lati- 
tude, including Rouse's Point. 

The first article of the Treaty in 1S42 declares that the line 
of boundary shall be as follows : 

Beginning at the monument at the source of the River St. Croix as desig- 
nated and agreed to by the Commissioners under the fifth article of the Treaty 
of 1794 .... following the exploring line run and marked by the 


surveyors of the two Governments in the years 1817 and i8i8, under the fifth 
article of the Treaty of Ghent, to its intersection with the River St. John, and 
to the middle of the channel thereof; thence up the middle of the main chan- 
nel of the said River St. John, to the mouth of the River St. Francis; thence 
up the middle of the channel of the said River St. Francis, and of the lakes 
through which it flows, to the outlet of the Lake Pohenagamook ; thence, 
southwesterly, in a straight line, to a point on the northwest branch of the 
River St. John, which point shall be ten miles distant from the main branch of 
the St. John, in a straight line, and in the nearest direction; but if the said 
point shall be found to be less than seven miles from the nearest point of the 
summit or crest of the highlands that divide those waters which empty them- 
selves into the River St. Lawrence from those which fall into the River St. 
John, then the said point shall be made to recede down the said northwest 
branch of the River St. John, to a point seven miles in a straight line from the 
said summit or crest ; thence .... to the point where the parallel of 
latitude of 46° 25'' north intersects the southwest branch of the St. John's; 
thence, southerly, by the said branch, to the source .... at the 
Metjarmette portage ; thence, down along the said highlands .... to 
the head of Hall's Stream ; thence, down the middle of said stream, till the 
line thus run mtersects the old line of boundary surveyed and marked by Val- 
entine and Collins, previously to the year 1774, as the 45th degree of north 
latitude, and which has been known and understood to be the line of actual 
division between the States of New York and Vermont on one side, and the 
British Province of Canada on the other; and from said point of intersection, 
west, .... to the Iroquois or St. Lawrence River. 

By the second article of that Treaty it was agreed that the 
line should run eastward of St. George's Island, so as to 
appropriate that island to the United States; and that the line 
westward from the northeast point of Isle Royale should run 
through the middle of the sound between Isle Royale and the 
northwestern mainland, to the mouth of Pigeon River, up that 
river to and through the north and south Fowl Lakes, to the 
lakes of the height of land between Lake Superior and the Lake 
of the Woods; thence through the rivers, lakes and water com- 
munications to Lac la Pluie at the foot of Chaudiere Falls : 
thence along the same line agreed on and settled by the Com- 
missioners, through the Lake of the Woods and to the northwest 
angle thereof in latitude 49". 23' 55" and in 95° 14 3^" ^^est 
longitude from Greenwich ; being' in both cases the line proposed 
by the American Commissioner and without doubt the line 
intended by the Treaty of 1783. 


The Treaty of Washington (1842) further declared that the 
boundary westward from the northwest angle of the Lake of the 
Woods shall, according to existing treaties, run due south to its 
intersection with the 49th parallel of latitude and on that 
parallel to the Rocky Mountains. 

Having occupied so much of your time in what I fear has 
been tedious, of the details in relation to treaties and the man- 
ner of executing them, a few reminiscences of our camp life and 
of the several persons at different times attached to the Bound- 
ary party may not be without interest ; although so long a time 
has elapsed, many things which had interest have been forgotten. 

"In 1816 Colonel Totten located a site for a fort at Rouse's 
Point on Lake Champlain south of the line known and marked 
as the boundary many years before, but actually north of the 
true parallel of 45° and considerable labor and money were ex- 
pended in preparing a foundation before it was discovered where 
the parallel of 45° was. The writer of this in company with 
Mr. Adams (the principal surveyor of our party) met Colonel 
Totten at Plattsburgh in the spring of 181 7. The Colonel was 
much mortified at the mistake, and explained that he had relied 
on the observations of his assistants, which had confirmed the 
old line. It is believed, however, that he Avas somewhat influ- 
enced by the representations of Colonel Hawkins and Major 
Robertdeau who were making reconnoisance along the northern 
and western frontiers and spread the report that the line would 
be several miles further north. The work on the fort was sus- 
pended and not again resumed until after 1842. 

Colonel Samuel Hawkins was a lawyer and had been district 
attorney for the District composed of Dutchess and others when 
several counties made a district. He obtained his apjiointment 
as agent under the sixth and seventh articles of the Treaty at 
Ghent in the summer of 1S16 and in company with Major 
Robertdeau of the Toj)Ographical Engineers, proceeded on a 
tour along the lines. These gentlemen were /fo/is vi:'anis and 
bans cofuf^ih^rons and made quite a stiralpng the frontier^ m fix- 
ing the boundary. Their journey" was one "Vather oi i)lt.'asure 
than of profit to their Government, for all they did amounted to 
nothing except to alarm the settlers along the lines. Colonel 


Hawkins assumed (whether sanctioned by Major Robertdeau or 
not is not known) that the true parallel of latitude should be 
calculated on the/^7<f/ that the earth is a spheroid, and not (as is 
usual) on the assumption that it is a sphere. In this manner he 
was about to take in quite a slice of Canada. The fol- 
lowing from Niles's Register of September, 1816, is a specimen 
of articles w^hich appeared in the papers : 

Colonel Hawkins and Major Robertdeau have arrived at Sackett's Har- 
bor. They say that the line west of Connecticut River is at present too far 
south, and that in establishing the 45th parallel of latitude will give the United 
States sixteen townships of lower Canada and their excellent fort and island, 
Isle au Noix. 

On the organization of the parties under the sixth and seventh 
articles of the Treaty in May, 181 7, the American party was 
composed of Peter B. Porter the Commissioner, Donald Fraser, 
secretary, David P. Adams of the Navy, the astronomical sur- 
veyor, ^Villiam A. Bird, assistant surveyor, Thomas Clinton, stew- 
ard, with waiters, cook, boatn"ien and axmen, numbering about 
twenty persons. Professor Andrew EUicott soon joined the 
party and remained about six. weeks. The camp was arranged in 
military order. Each of the above-named persons had a tent, 
which, with others tor men and stores, made quite a show on 
the bank of the river. We were well provided with instruments 
and each surveyor had a boat and boat's crew ; besides these 
were others for the Commissioner and for camp use. The sur- 
veyors, when at work near the main camp, returned to that at 
night, but for portions of the time they took tents, provisions and 
camp utensils in their boats and would be absent several da\s to- 
gether, encamping where night overtook them. 

The gentlemen of the British party were Colonel John 
Oglevie of Montreal, Commissioner; Dr John Bixby, assistant 
secretary, David Thompson, astronomical surveyor, Alexander 
Stevenson, assistant surveyor, with a full complement of boatmen 
and other attendants. 

Colonel Oglevie was a prominent member of the Northwest 
Fur Company, a Scotchman b)- birth, a man of indomitable 
energy and perseverence. He had his own bark canoe and crew 
and was to be seen almost daily on the wa^er overlooking the 
surveyors and their progress. 


David Thompson had been many years in the employ of the 
Hudson Bay Company and had wintered two years at Hudson's 
Bay. This Mr. Thompson is the same who, it will be remem- 
bered (in the 54° 40' controversy), was sent by that company in 
1810-11 down the Frazer River to take possession at Cokimbia 
River for the British Government, and found that Mr. Astor's 
settlement had preceded him. As was the custom, Mr. Thomp- 
son had taken to wife a native in the upper country, whom he 
brought down to his home on the St. Lawrence and with her a 
lot of fine intelligent children. 

Colonel John Hale, from Quebec, the agent of the British 
Government, a lawyer, and a fine old English gentleman, was 
occasionally with the party and in the camp of the Commissioner. 

During a part of the year 1817 and 1818 Colonel Hawkins 
was on the river and had his separate camp always near that of 
the Commissioner 

In the spring of 181 8 Richard Delafield (now a colonel in the 
Engineer Corps, United States Army) joined the party and 
served that year as the draftsman, and for a part of the year 
William Darby (the historian) was an assistant surveyor. 

In June 181 8 Professor Hasler for the United States and Dr. 
Ticark for the British Government, went out to St. Regis as 
astronomers under the fiftharticle of the Treaty to authenticate the 
point fixed by Mr. PUlicott on the 45th parallel. Our Mr. 
Adams went down the river to meet them and took with him the 
astronomical circle which Mr. Hasler had purchased in London 
for the Government. While there a gale of wind broke down 
Mr. Hasler's shanty and utterly destroyed that valuable instru- 
ment, thus depriving our party of its use, but relieving us of its 
care and protection. 

In the spring of 1S19 Mr. Adams was recalled to the Navy, 
and the writer took charge of the survey, except for a few months 
that season while Major D. B. Douglass from West Point was 
with the party. James Ferguson from Albany joined the party 
as assistant surveyor and Lewis G." DeRussy as draftsman. 
Colonel Hawkins was succeeded by Major J6beph Delafield as 
agent. He made his home in the Commissioner's camp and re- 
mained with the Commission until its termination in 1S25. 


The party were this year in the west end of Lake Erie from 
July to October, when they became so reduced and weakened by 
sickness that they were compelled to decamp. This season was 
remarkable for the little wind on the lake, for unusual warm 
weather, for very low water and much sickness. Every member 
of both parties was sick, some very sick. Colonel Oglevie died 
about the ist of October at Amherstburgh and one of his men on 
the same day. 

Hank Johnson accompanied the party this season for the pur- 
pose of procuring fish and game, in which he was almost always 

In July, 1820, the American party embarked on board the 
schooner Red Jacket in the Detroit River and the British 
party on the Confiance, and proceeded to Lake Huron, where they 
prosecuted the surveys until October. The schooner was re- 
tained in the service of the party and was the headquarters instead 
of the camp, the surveyors with their boats and camp equipage 
being employed away from the vessel much of the time. 

In the spring of 1822 the writer (the boundary under the 
sixth article having been completed) resigned his position and 
was succeeded by Mr. James Ferguson, who continued the sur- 
vey to the Lake of the Woods and remained with the party till 
the final close of the Commission in 1S25. 

Mr. Ferguson has since been employed several years in the 
coast survey and for the last ten or twelve years in the National 
Observatory in Washington. 





The fall of Quebec in 1759 ended the long and bloody 
contest between France and Great Britain for the mastery of a 
continent. A moment's reflection will suffice to remind us of 
the momentous issues involved in this struggle between the two 
competing civilizations. An indigeneous and barbaric peoj)le, 
known as the Iroquois, or Five Nations, the bulk of whom dwelt 
in what is now known as Central and Western New York, was an 
important if not controlling factor in this eventful consummation. 
In the war afterward waged by the American colonies for 
independence, though sadly diminished, they were sufficiently 
numerous to form an appreciable element of the forces which 
Britain hurled against her rebellious offspring. Wasted by wars, 
and overwhelmed by the tidal wave of European emigration 
they have, within less than a century, peacefully surrendered an 
empire to the intruding race, and have "disappeared from history 
as they soon will from the gaze of m'en. * 

The recorded opinions regarding this historic race are mostly 
idealistic and irreconcilable. ''Romans of the West" is the 


eulogistic title bestowed by their earliest observers on this war- 
like people before they had become enervated and corrupted bv 
contact with European civilization; the '^Indians of Indians'" 
they are termed in the glowing pages of Parkman ; kindly 
conservators of peace and the domestic affections, is their 
surprising characterization by Horatio Hale; a •' gifted and pro- 
gressive race " they were declared to be by Morgan. On the 
other hand, they are portrayed by writers, possessing equal 
opportunities of observation, as monsters of cruelty, devoid of 
all the nobler attributes of humanity. 

Models for a sculptured Apollo, the perfection of the human 
form, accompanied by a princely mien and an unstudied grace 
of movement, may have frequently been seen among the lithe 
and supple braves grouped around gallant King Hendrick, and 
the sight of whom kindled the imagination of Sir Joshua 
Reynolds ; but the nature of these picturesque youth rarely 
revealed that union of gentleness, love and valor which are the 
essential ingredients of chivalry. Heroes they were according 
to their own rude standard suggested by the untamed animals 
which formed the emblazonry of their shields ; exceptions, how- 
ever, were not wanting, as in the case of Hiawatha,^ of a lofty 
magnanimity and an all-embracing benevolence. 

Cruel, ruthless and vengeful as we must admit they were, 
when war inflamed their passions, we cannot deny the Iroquois 
warriors possession of such attributes as loyalty, chastity, valor, 
gratitude, hospitality, acumen, an inspiring eloqence and an 
indomitable spirit of independence. They jealously emphasized 
the distinction between allies and vassals in their relations to the 
Dyo-hence-caw,t or People-of-the-Morning, throughout the 
period of a long and faithful service in which their blood was 
shed like water. 

There have arisen among this people, within the historic 
period, many remarkable characters ; {)erhaps none more ^o than 
the personage I am about to introduce to your notice. 

* Hiawatha was the founder of tlie I.cnjjue of the Iroquois— a veritable " lawgiver 
of the stone age," and not a mytholoRical creation; although superstition has 
invested him with supernatural attribute'^. By birth he was an Onondaga, and by 
adoption a Ntoliawk. In the Mohawk dialect tlie name is pronounced .\-yohn-waht- 
ha; in the (Jnom!a>;a, Hay-cn-wat-ha, and in the Seneca, Hay-ya-wan-tah. 

t The Seneca name for the Hnglish. 


Early in the eighteenth century, and before the hearts of the 
American colonists were thrilled by the first monitory rumble of 
that great upheaval which we denominate the American Revolu- 
tion, there lay in the fruitful and romantic region bordering the 
foot of Lake Seneca, and within sight of its sparkling, unsullied 
waters, the most considerable village of the Senecas. This 
village was known to the whites as Old Castle or Kanadesaga. 
It was surrounded by a timbered palisade and earthen works, 
constructed under the supervision of that astute and vigilant 
servant of the crown, Sir William Johnson. Outlying this forest 
fastness were thriving orchards of apples and peach, and 
broad fields of golden maize. Kanadesaga was peopled princi- 
pally by a clan of Senecas whose totem was the turtle, a symbol, 
in the simple heraldry of the Iroquois, of ancient and illustrious 
origin. The principal and hereditary chieftain who swayed this 
rude community, and whose influence was, in truth, potential in 
the councils of the great confederacy, was know^n to his ]>eople 
as Gui-en-gwa-toh, and in the dialect of the people who lived 
nearer the sea, Sayenqueraghta, or Sakayengwaraton, which 
signified the "Disappearing Smoke or Mist."^ It was this 
chieftain's prerogative to kindle and to extinguish the council 
fire of his nation, and this idea was imbedded in the rocky 
syllables of his Indian name. Among the English he was called 
indifferently. Old King, King of Kanadesaga, the King of the 
Senecas and Old Smoke ; again allusion being made to his official 
prerogative. The early pioneers and explorers knewlittleand cared 
less about the unwritten constitutions of their barbaric neighbors. 
When, in the course of their dealings with the natives, 
they met a sachem, who- was the s[)okesman and appar- 
ently the venerated head and leader of his people, they bestowed 
upon him a royal title, as in the instances of King Powhattan, 
King Philip, King Hendrick and others. In the same s})irit of 
extravagant idealization, when they observed an Indian town 
fortified by encircling palisades and defensive moats, they 
dignified it with the title of castle, as fo'r example Oneida Castle, 
Onondaga Castle, upper and lower M'ohawk Ca'stles, the Seneca 
or Old Castle, etc. The title of King was not applicable to any 

Literally, The-Sinoke-has-Disappeared, 



Iroquois ruler or official. The Iroquois recognized no kingship 
save that which naturally inheres in the born leaders of men, — 
men whose superior understanding, imperious will and merito- 
rious achievements inexorably commanded popular homage and 
obedience. The government of the Confederate Iroquois was 
strangely composite,— an oligarchy wedded to a pure democracy. 
The Old King, like King Hendrick, — (who, it is worthy of 
remark, bore among the Mohawks the same title of Sayenquer- 
aghta), — was endowed with the innate, imperial attributes to 
which I have alluded. The servants of the British crown in 
North America apparently encouraged this assumption of royalty 
on the part of the Old King. His family had for generations, 
and while the majority of his nation were inclined to yield to 
the blandishments of the rival French monarchy, remained nrni 
in attachment to the British sovereign. In recognition of their 
loyal faith the good Queen Anne bestowed ui)on the Sayenqucr- 
aghta of her reign, an ancestor of Old King, a coronet, the 
only instance, it is believed, in the history of the aborigines oi 
America. Kings have been crowned and dynasties established 
with less color of right than that possessed by King Sayenqiic-r- 
aghta. The incident gathers significance when we recall the 
royal jealousy evoked by the marriage of Rolf, an English 
subject, with the Princess Pocahontas in the days of King 
James the First. 

The red men had no biographers or annalists, and the 
materials for a biograi)hy of the Old King are extremely scanty. 
The white man's records, however, afford us occasional glimpses 
of the plumed warrior in his varied career, — now the iini)assioncd 
orator haranguing a dignified group of blanketed sachems : now 
with grim visage dealing death blows in the thick of battle ; now 
in friendly conference with men of rank in military and civil 
life: anon, stooping to succor distressed captives like the Gilbert 
family, or welcoming as a son to his cabin the weary and 'lam- 
ished missionary, Kirkland, and then vanishing mysteriously 
from view as if to justify his quaint appellation. The-Disappear- 
ing-Mist. " ' 

Bancroft, speaking of the Senecas at Wyoming, says : "Their 


King, Sayenqueraghta, was both in war and in council the fore- 
most man in all the * six nations.' " * 

Colonel Stone remarks: " Old Smoke was the most powerful, 
as he was deemed the wisest sachem of his time. He was the 
principal sachem, or civil chief of the nation, and his word was 
law. When he thought proper to convene a council it was only 
for the purpose of announcing his intentions, and none said nay 
to his behests. His infallibility was never questioned. "f 

At an interview held by the Hon. O. H. Marshall with the 
venerable chief Seneca White at his house on the Cattaraugus 
Reservation, in 1864, he informed Mr. Marshall that Old Smoke 
was the most influential man among the Senecas in the Revolu- 
tionary war, and that he opposed the Indians taking a?iy part i?i 
the war. According to the Senecas he was a large, portly man 
of commanding presence. That he was a man of great promi- 
nence at Kanadesaga as early as 1765, is evidenced from his posi- 
tion in the councils then held. His closing speech in the coun- 
cil at that time, in defence of Rev. Samuel Kirkland, whose life 
was in imminent danger in consequence of the death of his host, 
was full of convincing argument and was a masterpiece of elo- 
quence that bore down all opposition and elicited a general 
shout of applause *' which made the council-house ring. "J ■ 

But it is in connection with the tragedy of Wyoming that I 
wish to call your attention to the Old King to-night ; and here 
let me refresh your memories by giving a condensed and brief 
recital of the salient incidents of the affair as they have been 
accepted by the historian. 

The valley of the Wyoming, in the early summer of 17 78, 
presented a scene of peaceful and sylvan beauty. Slope and low- 
land, on either side of the Susquehanna, were dotted with clear- 
ings and nestling cabins, the abode of contented toil, trugality 
and virtue. No notes of strife or discord arose from the bosom 
of the ha[)py valley. Only the plaint of some wild bird; the 
plowboy's careless whistle; the merry laugh and shouts of child- 
ren at play ; the ring of the woodman"? a^e ; the muftled beating 

♦Bancroft's History U. S. Vol. V., p. 279- 

t " Life and Tinu-s of Red Jacket," by William L. Stone. 

tLothrop's " Life of Kirkland," Chap. 3, Sparks's .\ni. Biography, \ol. X.W. 


of some thresher's flail, and the rhythmic plash and murmur of 
the winding river, broke the Sabbath hush of the embowered 

Wyoming would have been the seat of unalloyed happiness 
but for two causes. The youth and chivalry of the pioneers had, 
in response to the trumpet-call of duty, left their homes and 
families to the care of aged sires and striplings, and were fight- 
ing the battles of freedom on far away fields ; and, besides, there 
was ever an undefinable, shivering fear lest at any moment, out 
out the dark, mysterious forest which begirt the settlement, there 
might emerge a murderous horde of their implacable enemies, 
Tory and savage. 

This apprehension was too soon justified when, on the second 
day of July, intelligence came that a body of Tory Rangers, a 
detachment of Sir John Johnson's Royal Greens and a large 
body of Indians, all under the command of the redoubtable 
Colonel John Butler, had taken possession of Fort Wintermoot, 
a Tory stronghold situated a few miles distant. No sooner was 
the presence of the enemy discovered than the scattered male 
inhabitants, who remained at their homes, hurriedly assembled to 
to the number of four hundred, at a palisaded work known as 
Old Fort Forty. Colonel Zebulon Butler, a soldier of some 
experience in the French and Indian war, assumed command of 
the little band of patriots. A council of war was held early on 
the 3d of July and the desperate alternative of anticipating the 
enemy's attack by surprise was adopted. The plan might have 
succeeded but for an untoward accident which apprised the 
enemy of his danger. As it happened the Americans found their 
foe in line of battle for their reception. Colonel Z. Butler com- 
manded the right of the Americans, the left was commanded by 
Colonel Dennison, assisted by Colonel Dorrance. Opposed to 
the right of the Americans and also resting on the bank of the 
river was Colonel John Butler with his rangers ; the right Of the 
enemy, resting upon or rather extending into a marsh, was com- 
posed of Indians and Tories led by Sayenqueraghta. The field 
of battle was a partially cleaTed plain.* 

The action began soon after four o'clock in the afternoon, 
and was for a time kept up on both sides with great spirit. The 



right of the Americans advanced bravely as they fired, and the 
best troops of the enemy were compelled to fall back. At this 
juncture Sayenqueraghta with a swarm of screeching warriors 
unperceived outflanked Colonel Dennison and suddenly like a 
dark cloud fell upon his rear. Sorely harassed Colonel D. ordered 
his command to fall back, which was mistaken by the men for an 
order to retreat. This misconception was fatal. A panic ensued 
and the Americans fled towards Fort Forty pursued by the Indians, 
who with their tomahawks and spears wrought terrific slaughter 
and committed deeds of wanton and revolting cruelty. The few 
survivors who escaped the carnage and succeeded in reaching the 
fort were soon beseiged by throngs of excited Indians and Tories. 
Possessing no adequate means of defence, and having no expecta- 
tion or hope of succor the patriots yielded to the entreaties of 
the women and children and capitulated, the terms of surrender 
being that the beseiged should no longer fight against the crown 
and should yield possession of all provincial stores to the con- 
querors, who in turn promised them immunity from the scalping- 
knife and tomahawk, and undisturbed possession of their homes 
and clearings. The Indians, however, could not be restrained. 
No lives were taken after the surrender, but the destruction of 
houses and property was pursued with merciless persistency until 
the vale became a scene of hideous, smouldering desolation. 
Many of the terror-stricken inhabitants sought safety in flight, 
and many of them fell by the way, perishing from sickness and 

Thus far I have attempted to give a summary of this tragic 
event, as the sober muse of history has recorded it, and which is 
popularly known as the Massacre of \V\oming. The enchant- 
ing theatre of this exciting drama, — the pictures([ue actors, 

* " More than two-thirds of their number [the patriotic forces] were massacred by 
the Indians and Tories with every circumstance of savao:e cruelty, not even the pris- 
oners bein,^- spared. Some of the latter were put to death on the evening of the battle- 
Queen Esther, a half-breed Indian woman, to avenge the deathof her son, tomahawked 
fourteen with her own hands near a rock which slUl btars her name."— Appleton's 
Am. Cyclopaedia. Title, Wyomini;. Colonel ^utler'^ ofticial report agrees with 
Colotiel Claus' statement that only two white men in his command were killed and 
that the casualties included about a dozen Indians wounded. The reader cannot help 
contrasting this result with thai of Oriskany where the desperate valor of tlie colonists 
shone conspicuously. 


patriot, Tory, royal green and painted savage, and the terrible 
scenes of suffering, upon which the curtain falls, invoked the 
scarcely less veracious muse of poesy and inspired Campbell's 
justly admired epic, " Gertrude of Wyoming." 

Who led the Indians at Wyoming? is a minor vexata qccstio 
of history. The earlier writers assigned the doubtful honor to 
Joseph Brant — Thayendanegea. On their authority the poet 
Campbell makes the "Monster Brant " the author of the woes 
and horrors which befell the simi)le-minded dwellers in the 
valley. Colonel Stone, the biographer of the great Mohawk, 
zealously endeavored to exculpate the hero by showing that 
Brant was not even present when the tragedy occurred, and that 
the responsibility rested on the shoulders of the Old King. 

Apparently the matter was set at rest when in reply to an 
eminent skeptic in the Democratic Review, Caleb Cashing, 
Stone was at the pains of gathering and publishing fresh and 
convincing testimony. Some doubting Thomas, however, in 
the historical field, periodically asserts that Brant tvas\\\^ master 
spirit among the fell agencies of mischief at Wyoming. Un- 
fortunately for Brant his reputation for humanity could better 
sustain the burden of Wyoming, which he disclaimed, than the 
infamy of Cherry Valley which neither he nor his biographer 
sought to evade. 

If Brant was not the leader, was Colonel Stone correct in 
assigning that post to the King of the Senecas? This (piestion 
was discussed more than twenty years ago in the club meetings 
of this society. Ketchum in his " tlistory of Buffalo and the 
Senecas " asserted with confidence that the leader could not 
have been the Old King. In this opinion that accomplished 
and conscientious investigator, Orsamus H. Marshall, was 
inclined to concur. Both were deceived, as was the writer, by 
certain confusing statements in contemporary narratives, or 
documents, which assigned to Old King a weight of year?; and 
infirmities that would naturally disqualify him for the leadership 
in so arduous a campaign. The jKij^er which I shall proceed to 
read is apparently decisive of that qtiestion. How this docu- 
ment came to light, after slumbering in an ancient chest tor 
nearly a century, the following letter from the late Senator 
Plumb will explain : 


- Niagara, Prov. Ontario, Nov. 5, 1886. 

Dear Mr. Bryant : — Mr. Conover, whom I met at Brantford, has sent 
me some of his Indian pamphlets, among them a paper on the King of the 
Senecas,* whom he names Sayenqueraghta. ''^ * 

Mr. Conover gives the name of Captain Pollard, an Indian, who told 
Colonel Stone and Mr. Orlando Allen that he was at Wyoming and that the 
King was the leader of the Indians on that occasion, which statement Mr. 
Conover was inclined to question. 

You are quoted by Mr. Conover as stating that " It is claimed that young 
King was then too young to be a leader of a war party. I fear it will never 
be known who that leader was," 

Now I think I can help you solve the doubt, and can show very con- 
clusively, that the Old King was not only the leader, but the originator of the 
Wyoming Expedition, and also a most active and faithful coadjutor of Brant 
as an ally of the crown. 

A family fourth in descent from Sir William Johnson, the great-grand- 
children of Colonel Daniel Claus, Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 
who married a daughter of Sir William, by his wife Catherine Weisenberg, 
resides here. 

Mr. William Kerby of this place, the accomplished author of " Le Chien 
d' Or," and of much other Canadian literature of the highest order, informed 
me that he had discovered in the possession of this family a valuable collec- 
tion of Revolutionary documents : minutes of Indian councils, autograph letters, 
and many interesting memoranda by Colonel Daniel Claus. Among the papers 
were all those that were found in the tent of General St. Clair after his defeat, 
apparently in the original hasty wrappage, and seeming never to have been 
opened or examined 1 

There were voluminous writings of Colonel Daniel Claus, and a most 
valuable essay by his brother in-law. Colonel Guy Johnson, on the Six Nation 
Indians, written at the request and for the use of Robertson, the Historian of 
America, but not inserted in his unfinished work. The papers, numbering 
nearly 2,000, were carefully examined and roughly catalogued by Mr. Kerby 
and myself, and at my instance were purchased by the Dominion Government 
and placed in the public archives.' One of the MSS., in the handwriting of 
Col. Daniel Claus, is headed " Anecdotes of Capt. Joseph Brant, Niagara, 
Sept. 177S." The following extracts may serve to elucidate the doubt as to 
the leadership of the Wyoming Expedition. It could not have been written 
with any other idea, or object, than that of stating facts then perfectly xuell 
kncnvn to hundreds of people who would be most likely to read the statements of 
Col. Claus if published. 

*" Sayenqueraghta, Hiiig of the Senecas, " by Geo. S. CoTiover, Waterloo, N. Y., 
1885. In this pamphlet the author, a very able and conscientious investigator, 
collated all the printed accounts of and references to the Old \l\ns which he could dis- 


That they were Jiot published was doubtless owing to the lack c-f oppor- 
tunity, in part, and perhaps in a greater degree, to severe criticism, which they 
contained, upon the course of Col. Butler in failing to co-operate cordially or 
promptly with Brant. The first extract refers to the battle of Oriskany, at 
which Col. Claus was present, and took a prominent and active part. * * 
[Then follow certain extracts from the MS., which 1 am about to read. Mr. 
Plumb concludes : ] 

It may be that you will think the extracts of sufficient value to com- 
municate them to your Society, and I shall be very glad to have you do so. I 
shall write to Mr. Conover that I have sent them to you. 

With kind regards, believe me, yours very faithfully, 


The writer sent to Ottawa and procured a copy of Col. Clans' 
paper entitled '' Anecdotes of Captain Joseph Brant," together 
with the other MSS. mentioned by Mr. Plumb. It is an authen- 
tic document written by a trusted servant of the Crown, pos- 
sessing every facility for testing the truth of what he has 
deliberately recorded, and his main statements of fact are 
credible, notwithstanding a certain animus of personal hostility 
which the author is at no pains to conceal. 


M. G. 2, P. 46. 

From Niagara, a King's Fort on the Frontier of the Province of New 
York, we received the following: 

Joseph Brant, alias Thayendanegea, now about 36 years old was born in 
the upper Mohawk Town of Canojoharee. Capt. Brant, when a young lad, 
showed an extraordinary capacity and promptness in acquiring the reading and 
writing of his own language, under an Indian school master appointed by the 
Honorable Society at his native place. The late Sir Wm. Johnson discovering 
that genius sent him to a good English school wliere he soon made such pro- 
ficiency as to be able not only to read and write English surprisingly well but 
soon undertook to translate English into the Iroquois or .Mohawk Language and 
so vice versa and that so well that tlie late Sir William Johnson found him very 
serviceable in translating Indian Speeches of moment to be made to the 6 
Nations in Council and translate them in writing into the Iroquois La»iguage 
in order to convey to the Indians the full meaning and substance of such 
Speeches wch Indian interpreters who in general are a dull illiterate kind of 
white people never were capable of doing, he became therefore a great acquisi- 
tion to the Superintendent of the Irociuois and"6 Nations and was employed by 
them accordingly and approved himself a very useful and true person to govern- 
ment discovering at the same time a penetrating sound and good natural 


understanding wch he manifested in translating great part of the N. Testament 
under the inspection of Mr, Stuart, the missionary who explained difficult pas- 
sages to him, as well some sermons of diffi't subjects. At the Commencement 
of the unhappy Disputes between Great Britain and her Colonies he made 
shrewd and strict Enquirys into Reason of the Complaints of the Americans 
among whom he chiefly resided and from whom he heard nothing but forging 
of chains and intended Tyranny ag'st them. At the same time seeing no 
Apparent Alteration or putting such Complaints of Tyranny into Execution the 
Refutation of it agitated his mind so far as to determine on a voyage to Great 
Britain in order to try what he could find out there of the matter plainly fore- 
seeing how much the Indians in general were concerned in such a Quarrel, 
well knowing how ignorant they were as to the Disputes in Question. Accord- 
ingly in the Autumn 1775 after faithfully serving that campaign and 
acquainting the Indians with the Reason of his Intended Journey he embarked 
at Quebec with the gentleman that was to be appointed at home in the room 
of Sr. Wm. Johnson. After his arrival he made himself acquainted with 
Gentlemen on both sides of the Question, soon finding out there was an 
op'pon in favour of the Americans in England; and his penetrating genius soon 
saw into the Motives of that Opposition and plainly discovering that there was 
no Reason of such complaints he was told of in America and all they and the 
Americans aimed at was to be sole Masters of the Continent of America, an 
Event so destructive to the Liberty of the Indus and their Country, and being 
convinced of the Anxiety the Americans for some years showed to dispossess 
the Indns of their Country had not the Crown interfered. During his stay in 
London he was by order of Government shown all the remarkable Places and 
Curiosities about London and vicinity, with which he was very much pleased 
in particular the Tower. Several Gentlemen of Distinction and Fortune took 
notice of him and used him very kindly and although some of them were 
friends of the Americans and argued in their favour he listened to their Argu- 
ments with Calmness and answered with Discretion. In the beginning of June 
1776 he embarked at Falmouth on board the Harriot packet in Company with 
the Superintendt — of the 6 Nations and sailed for N. York, where it was 
expected he would soon be able to get to Albany and from thence among his 
countrymen the 6 Nations. The -packet on acct of the summer season stand- 
ing to southward fell in with a rebel privateer of superior force near tlie Caro- 
linas when soon a smart engagement ensued and ye rebels were confident of 
success. Joseph and his companion, John of the lower Mohawk Town who 
attended him, having brass rille guns, made them a present from my Lord 
Townsend, were so dextej-ous and good marksmen as to pick off those on 
board the rebel ship whom by their dress tlicy took t6"be ofiicers and after an 
engagement of two glasses the privateer thouglit proper to sheer otT. The 
Harriot hevg her rigging much damaged was disabloci*from cliasing her and 
soon after got into N. York, being the latter end of July, and a little before Sr. 
Wm, Howe begun his operations upon the rebels on Long Islanil on wch 


occasion he had another opportunity of showing his bravery and activity wch 
St. Wm. acknowledged by having him always abt him, he was also particularly 
esteemed or taken notice of by the Earl of Percy for it. Finding that the cam- 
paign operations were not decisive enough to take Albany. And Brant deter- 
mined penetrating the rebel country and woods to get among his Indn friends 
the 6 Nations, Sr. Wm. Howe and the Superintendant furnishing [him] with 
orders and Instructions to the officers of Gov't for that purpose and wch -he 
with much fatigue and danger effected. The tirst Ind'ns he met with were the 
Colonies of the 6 Nations and their Dependants settled upon the Susquehanna 
River, whom he soon convinced with what he had heard and saw in England 
and the Arguments he made use of how much their own Country and Liberty 
w^as in danger from the Rebels, that they all unanimously agreed with him in 
sentiment and determined to act agtst the Rebels who then secretly had sent 
Emissaries from N. England among them to gain them over to their interest 
but they were soon obliged to disappear for fear of being seized upon by the 
Indians. These proceedings of Mr. Brant soon taking vent among the Rebels 
on the Mohawk River they began to collect a Body of men to oppose him and 
he saw himself under a necessity to call for more assistance among the 6 
Nations and procure himself and party ammunition, wch was not nearer to be 
had than Niagara ; on his way thither he had the* 6 Nation countrv' to pass 
thro' where in every Town he was well received, called meetings and acquaint- 
ing them with his Adventures and what he had heard and saw in the King of 
England's Residence, wch was received with much greediness aad approba- 
tion. He was faithfully promised to be supported ag'st the Rebels whenever 
he should call upon them ; he then proceeded to Niagara and on his arrival 
producing his Orders and Instructions from Sr. Wm. Howe and Col. Guy. 
Johnson, the Supt. of the 6 Nations. — But here Jealousy and Envy the Mon- 
sters of all Discord and Mischief showed their Heads, and the person who was 
left there in 1775 l)y the Superintendant to assist the Command'g Officer at 
that post in Indn Matters was an Officer of equal Employ with Mr. Brant only 
of less Importance as to Indn Matters i!v: acting in a more servile Line, tiiif 
person having with llatlery & cunning (being bred and born inN. England 1 in- 
sinuated himself into the favour of Sr. Guy Carleton & procuring himself 
thereon to the office upon the Strength of that lavished immense sums without 
doing the least service to Govt since the beginning of the Rebellion but 
allowed the Rebels to establish tiiemselves at Fort Stanwi.K in the middle o\ 
the 6 Nation Country. This person then imagining to please Sir Guy in 
slighting ^: disregarding Sr. Wm. Howe Ov: the Superinten't ; besides apprehen- 
sive Mr. Brant should do anything that would expose his Inactivity & willing 
Backwardness received him very cooly and indifferently allho' under Superints 
immediate employ and appointment having nothing separate from Sr. Guy 
even denyed him the quantity of Ammunition "he demanded for oppo>ing the 
Rebels that were assemitling again and he was obliged to purchase what he 
could get among Traders out of his own pocket .5c returned very much dis- 


couraged from Niagara; on his arrieval with his parly he distributed what 
little Ammunition he got wch was very trifling and soon after had an Acct. 
that a Body of Soo Rebels were assembled to pay him a visit shortly. Upon 
wch he immediately sent Runners to call the 6 Nations to his assistance but 
[illegible] they were influenced from Niagara not to go. — Inds being so ignor- 
ant credulous a people that they may soon be dissuaded from keeping their 
promises with a plausible story [illegible] of raising their Jealousy. Accord- 
ingly not a man came to his assistance and soon after the Rebels marched 
upon him with yxy men leaving the rest as Corps de Reserve at Cherry Valley 
they however finding Mr. Brant's party prepared and in readiness to receive 
them, they sent a Messenger to Mr Brant that they wanted to speak with 
them as friends, he returned them his answer if they would come unarmed he 
would admit them having at the time not 200 men together when they came 
to parley and the Rebels came & entreated them to stand Neuter in the Quar- 
rel. That they would [illegible] their assistance & it would reasonably be 
supposed the King of Great Britain would not want it, wch Mr. Brant flatly 
refusing telling them he had sufficient reasons to oppose their proceedings on 
his own acct. upon wch one of the Rebel Colonels hinted that he would be 
compelled when Mr. Brant gav^s a Sign to his party they immediately put 
themselves in a posture of Defense tho' with very little Ammunition, upon 
wch the Rebels drew in their horns & were for peace sneaking oH with 
themselves & if the Indus had been well supplied with Ammunition they 
might have given a good acct. of the whole party as well as all the Indus in 
general on ye continent. 

Captain Brant soon after having information that Brig'r St. Leger was on 
his- march upon an Expdn agst., Fort Stanwix and soon expected at Oswego, 
he proceeded with his party consisting of upwards of 300 men to that place to 
join him where on his arrival he found Col. Claus sent from England in Spring 
'77 to Superind the Indians to be employed in sd Expedition, this Gentlemn 
for upwards of twenty years acted as Assistant to the late Sr Wm Johnson in 
Indn Matters of which he had the care of ye Canada Indns till superseded in 
'75 and was well acquainted wth Mr. Brants Merit, he gave Mr. Brant and 
party all the Assistance in his power as to equiping them properly for the 
Exped wch done he [Col. Clau-s] declared himself a Party ready for Service 
the Brigadier arriving 2 days after and was for pushing on as expeditiously as 
possible and none of the Indians that Col. Butler was to assemble having 
arrived tho' living near 200 miles nearer than Mr. Brants party and Col. Claus 
finding they were chiefly to come the way the Expeditn was going he sent, 
orders to the Indn Officers to halt at the Three Rivers 24 miles on his way to 
Fort Stanwix. Col. Butler arriving the day after at Oswego was surprised 
that the Indns were stcpt from coming there toehold a Congress and receive 
their presents. Col. Claus gave him to understand That Indns on a march 
upon the Enemy could or did not expect formal meetings and councilling 
besides it would be attended with several days Delay and therefore ordered 


Mr. Butler to proceed with the few Indns he brought from Niagara and meet 
the Indns at the Three Rivers and equip them and proceed to Fort Stanwix 
with all Expeditn at the same time Col. Claus with Mr. Brant and party 
proceeded with the Brigr leaving Mr. Butler at the Three Rivers and invested 
Fort Stanwix without them. 3 days after he came up with part of the Indns, 
when Mr. Brant's sister living in the Upper Mohawk Town sent an Express 
to her brother with Intelligence that a body of about 900 Rebels were to be 
within 12 miles of Fort Stanwix that night to reinforce the Garrison, prepara- 
tion then was made to oppose them. Sr. John Johnson offered his services to 
command a party of Light Infantry and what Indians were assembled and 
ready for service to reconnoitre and ambushe said party of Rebels. Accord- 
ingly when he was going to set off early in ye morning none but Mr. Brant's 
party were ready to join. Col. Butler and party were hesitating and delib- 
erating whether there should not be a parley demanded of the Rebels and 
Letters wrote to their Leaders before the attack. Mr. Brant observed that 
they being advancing in arms it was too late to offer any terms ajid that he 
was 'sure they would reject any proposals of peace and Sir John Johnson 
pushing off Mr. Brant followed him, the Col. and party were unprepared for 
the March for a considerable time after when Shame and Emulation forced 
them to follow. An action commenced in less than an hour's time in whch 
Mr. Brant signalized himself highly by advancing on the Rebels Rear and 
harassing their Retreat and making great Slaughter chietly with vSpears and 
Lances. At the first onset the Senecas lost 17 men among whom were several 
Chiefs and Leaders wch enraged them greatly and altho' the Rebels were 
put to Flight and left upwards of 500 killed on the Spot yet that was not 
sufficient satisfaction and their principal Chief Sakoyenguaraghton a Decend- 
ant of a Brave and Loyal Family who were distinguislied for their Loyalty 
and Attachment to the British Interest so early as the Reign of Queen Anne 
and were presented by ye Queen with a Coronet the only mark of distinction 
of that kind ever given to any of the 6 Nation Indns. This brave Seneca 
Chief and Mr. Brant proposed to Sr John and Col. Claus to pursue the Blow 
and Sr. John mentioned it to Brigr St. Lcgor, asking for a small Body of 
white men to join the Indns but the Brigr gave his reasons why he could not 
approve of it and there the affair dropt. Not long after upon false alarms the 
siege was raised and the Army retreated to Oswego in order to join Gen. 
Burgoyne by the way of Canada. Mr. Brant proposed to Col. Claus to pass 
the Mohawk Villages secure their Women and Children and collect what 
Indns he could in his way to join Gen. Burgoyne by way of Saraghtoga. wch 
Col. Claus agreed to. In which attempt however he ran a great Risque for 
one of his Compagnions Capi. John of the Mohawks being a little in the rear 
of Mr. Brant and passing Fort Stan\vix ^vas surrounded by a Rebel parly 
and being determined not to surren'der had a wliole charge of Ball and Buck 
shot fired into his left Breast and Arm and notwithstaiuling made a miraculous 
escape but is still in danger of losing his arm. Mr. Brant at ye same time 


effected his scheme of putting the Mohawk families on their guard and he 
proceeding with what men he could collect and Gen. Burgoyne's Army but 
within a short distance from the Camp had an encounter wth ye Rebel party 
which he soon put to flight and arrived safe wth Gen. Burgoyne who received 
and treated him according to his Merit the general distinguished him from the 
rest of the Indians but Mr. Brant finding that he could be of little Service 
there and affairs with that Army being mismanaged he in order to guard 
against a Defection among the 6 Nations in case Matters should turn out un- 
favorable as he apprehended he returned among the 6 Nations procured 
encouraging Messages from the Canada Inds that remained with Gen Bur- 
goyne and accordingly attended a general meeting of the wh(jle confederacy 
at Onandago where he spared no pains to prepare and harangue them against 
the Shock of Gen. Burgoyne's Disaster of which they soon after had a most 
exaggerated acct from the Rebels the only channel they could get it then who 
at the same time with threats invited them to join their Cause with a large 
Belt of Wampun and a War Ax worked in it, however Mr. Brant counter- 
acting and using all the most urgent Arguments such as their loss of brave 
Chiefs and warriors at Fort Stanwix and what Subjection and slavery they 
must be e.xposed to if the Rebels got the better as their Beliavior towards them 
for many years past clearly pointed out. In wch he was joined by his faith- 
ful Coajutor Sakayenguarghton the Seneca Chief above mentioned and in 
Reality carried his point at last so far as to make the whole Confederacy 
firmly resolve to act most vigorously against the Rebels; and Sayengwaraghto 
\jic~\ set the example by sending some of his men that very Autumn to harass 
the Frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia and get Intelligence of Gen. 
Howe's Success abt Philadelphia wch he procured wth a great deal of art wth 
all its favorable Circumstances to the great Satisfaction and Encouragement of 
the 6 Nations. The plan of Operations for the ensuing campaign was then 
laid and Mr. Brant determined to harass the Frontiers of the Mohawk River 
abt Cherry Valley [illegible] while Sakayenguaraghton took the Opportunity 
of this diversion to cut off the settlement of Wayoming on the Susciuehanna 
River. All these transactions were agreed and resolved upon while Mr. But- 
ler was at Montreal transacting Money and Mercantile Matters and no Indn 
Officer of Gov't present except Mr. Brant, The Rebel Commissioners of Indn 
Affrs at Albany have publicly declared that if it had not been for Mr. Brants 
Zeal and Cleverness they should surely have gained over the 6 Nations and 
their Allies to their interest. After all plans being then fixed upon Mr. Brant 
then passed thro' the Cayouga and Seneca Towns on his way to Niagara con- 
firming the Indians in their Sentiments against the Rebels and soon after they 
followed him and declared their intentions to the Commanding Officer at 
Niagara at the same time delivering up the Rebel War Belt wch is a mark 
with Indians of their rejecting what was required of fliem by the Beit wth 
Contempt and Disdain. They also ac'|uainted the Commanding Officers as 
the Kings Representative that they intended putting their Resolutions into 


Execution as early as possible in the Spring and hinted to effect it without an 
officer of Whiles to join them. Accordingly as early as the season would 
admit of Mr. Brant set the Example and marched off with his party to 
Aughgwago where he had others to join him. Sakayenguaraghton assembled 
his men at his Town Canadasege without calling upon any white person to 
join them. However the Reflections of the Officers at Niagara roused Col. 
Butler to march to Sakayenwaraghton's Town who at the same Time reserved 
the Command of his men to himself. Mr. Brant opened the Campaign by 
attacking a party of Continental Troops joined by near 300 Militia who im- 
mediately were put to tlight and the Continental Troops cut to pieces all but 
anOfficer aad four privates taken prisnrs and the Country laid waste distin- 
guishing at the Settlement of Loyalists and not molesting a Woman or Child 
of the Rebels, This occasioned such an alarm that all the Inhabitants farther 
down the River fled towards Schenectady and the Rebels were obliged to 
send several Battalions to oppose Mr. Brants Operations and the Harvest abt 
Schenectady, Cherry Valley and adjacent places being thereby neglected, 
prove very detrimental to the Supplies of the Rebel Army, that being the best 
Grain Country they depend upon and in short Mr. Brant was the Dread and 
Terror of the whole Country. 

Sakayenguaraghton at the same time put his plan in E.\ecution making 
every preparation Disposition and Maneouvre with his Indns himself and 
when the Rebels of Wayoming came to attack him desired Col. Butler to keep 
his people separate from his for fear of Confusion and stood the whole Brunt 
of the Action himself, for there were but 2 white men killed, [illegible] 
And then destroyed the whole Settlement without hurting or molesting 
Woman or Child wch these two Chiefs to their honour be it said agreed upon 
before they [went into] Action in the Spring. 

Thus has Mr. Brant and this faithful Indn Chief distinguished themselves 
mostjsignally in the Defence of their own cause and Liberty as well as keep- 
ing sacred their Alliance entered into with the Crown of Great Britain for 
near a Century past : when their zealous Services at the same time have been 
[illegible] from the Public and the Merit given to others who had not the 
least pretension to it whch by the bye may prove detrimental to His Majys 
Indian Interest and discourage and Disgust these faithful brave hnen as well 
as ye whole 6 Nation Confeucracy, and those who deceived Government and 
the Public in such a manner can have no other view but to give Sanction to 
the Stigma intended to be laid to Government by its Enemies of employing 
Indian Officers to engage and urge Indns to commit Cruelties and Murders in 
the Colonies, when at the same time the Indns act in Defence of their own 
Cause and Liberty. 

[to he CX)NT1NU1£I).] 

p. s — Soon after the Receipt of the above' Anecdotes an Acct. was re- 
ceived from Niagara of Mr Ikant having marched a body of upwards of 400 
Whites and Indns to surprise and attack two Forts at r.urnet>held alia> Ger- 


man Flatts about the middle of Sept. last but unluckily a Rebel Scout discov- 
ered them wch alarmed the Forts and kept the Rebels and Inhabitants snug 
and confined within their forts and could not be tempted to come out therefore 
he fell to destroying their buildings Barns Stacks of Grain &c and driving off 
a great number of horses and horn cattle some intended for the Rebels at 
Fort Stanwix which cant but cause great alarm and [illegible] to the Rebel 
Army it being the only Grain Country they have to depend upon. This Rav- 
age he carried on upon the Rebel Inhabitants only on both sides of the 
Mohawk Rivr for near a 20 Miles Extent. 


Niagara, Sept. 177S. Anecdotes of Capt. Jos. Brant. 

By Col. Dan'l Claus, Superintendent of Indian Affairs. 

The Student of this period will not fail to remark that the 
sensational narratives of the fleeing and panic-stricken borderers, 
given on the eve of the event, have been accepted as the un- 
diluted truth by the majority of writers. It would be strange, 
indeed, if these recitals were not to a considerable degree imagin- 
ary or grossly exaggerated. 

Col. Claus' a]jparent motive was to expose the attempt of Col. 
Butler, — whom he cordially disliked, — to appropriate to himself 
the credit of achievements justly belonging to two native chief- 
tains, Brant and Sayenqueraghta; and, secondly, to show that 
the responsibility for any atrocities peri)etrated at Wyoming, or 
on other fields, attached to the Indians alone, contending, as 
they were, for their own " cause and liberties " menaced by the 
colonists; a disingenuous proposition which, if seriously uttered 
at this day, would be received with a smile of derision.'^ 

Col. Stone, in his Life of Brant, was the first prominent 
writer, it is believed, if indeed, he were not the last, to question 
the reliability of the narratives alluded to. He says [Vol. I., p. 
Z'^(i\ : "It does not appear that anything like a massacre followed 
the capitulation. Nor, in the events of the preceding day, is 
there good evidence of the perpetration of any specific 

* Note. — Col. Benjamin Dorrance, before mentioned, vouchsafes us a passing 
glimpse of Sayenqueraghta in action. " He states tliat after the capitulation, the Brit- 
ish regular troops marched into tlie fort by the northern or upper gateway, while 
Sayenqueraghta and his Indians entered at the northern -portal. Col. D. recollects well 
the look and conduct of the Indian loader. His nostrils distended, and his burning 
eyes flashing like a basilisk's, as he glanced quickly to the right and to the lel\, with 
true Indian jealousy and circumspection, lest some treachery or ambuscade might await 
them within the fort." Stone's Wyoming, p. 214. 


acts of cruelty other than such as are usual in the general rout of 
a battle-field — save only the unexampled atrocities of the Tories 
thirsting for revenge probably in regard to other questions than 
that ot allegiance to the King." Steuben Jenkins, a descendant 
of one of the patriot Heroes, in his centennial address at the 
Wyoming monument, July 3d, 1878, after depicting in the most 
lurid light the atrocities committed or. that spot a hundred years 
before, and fiercely denouncing the perpetrators, said: "Truth 
and justice require that another tact, which has been omitttrd. 
should be told at this time. ■■^ <' * SO FAR AS KNOWN 
was no shutting up of whole families in their houses and then fire 
set to them and the whole consumed together. No slaughter 
of whole families, men, women and children, in that or any 
other way."* 

Butler, it is known, indignantly denied that any were slain 
save actual combatants with arms in their hands and in the act of 
using them against his forces. Lord Germain extolled th-j 
humanity displayed by the invaders. 

When we take into consideration the circumstance, men- 
tioned by Bancroft, that the Senecas had been wrought up to a 
pitch of frenzied exasperation by the slaughter of so many of 
their braves and leaders at the battle of Oriskany, and when we 
consider the inveterate customs and military policy of the Iro- 
quois, their moderation at Wyoming was something remarkable. 

All the wars waged between the native tribes on this conti- 
nent, involved the extirpation of one or the other of the com- 
batants. Their warlike tactics were of surprises, which the 
vast and pathless woods suggested and encouraged, and the red 
men as a rule possessed no defensive fortifications and none ot 
the tremendous military enginery with which the more ingenious 
whites sweep off their enemies. The art of civili/ed warfare, 
which means the mangling and murdering your foes j-olitely and 
humanely, in vast numbers, apd afa co^nfortable distance, these 
barbaric warriors had never acquired. 

*VVilkesbarre. Pa.. iS-8. 


The envenomed hate of their Tory allies showed no relenting, 
but it may be said of the Senecas that the angel Pity touched 
those wild hearts at Wyoming. 

This view is not, however, the popular one. The vulgar 
appetite must "sup on horrors" ; as though the unvarnished de- 
tails of any active campaign, where men, created in the image of 
God, maim and butcher each other, are not sufficiently revolting. 

A few particulars concerning the later life of the Old King 
and my task is finished. When General Sullivan's army devas- 
tated the Seneca country, the King with his tribe was compelled 
to abandon his beloved seat on the shores of Lake Seneca and 
seek safety under the protecting guns of Fort Niagara. Subse- 
quently, and at the end of the war, he retired with a portion of 
his people to the region drained by Buffalo Creek and its tribu- 
tary streams. Another portion of the nation, however, erected 
their bark cabins in the valley of the Genesee, their ancient 
abode, which in their own musical tongue they had christed The 
Beautiful, and there rekindled their immemorial council fire. 
Only for a little time were they permitted to linger there; "The 
foot-that-knows-no-rest " was on their track. The Old Kin2:'s 
last abode was on the banks of the stream named in his honor. 
Smoke's Creek. There for a few years he dispensed a true Indian 
hospitality which awakens wonder even now. Among the faces 
lighted up by the glow of his hearth, and in strange juxtaposi- 
tion with the tawny, dark-haired daughters of the wood who 
crouched by their side, might have been discerned the fairer and 
more delicate features of the captive Gilbert children, his 
adopted son and daughter, and the benignant countenance of the 
missionary Kirkland. Here,, within a few miles from where we 
sit to-night, and at about the close of the last century, the King 
of the Senecas died and was buried. His grave is unmarked and 
the exact spot where his bones lie is unknown even to his tribe 
and family. His successor, the bearer of the sacred brand, was 
the Young King, well and favorably known to our older citizens. 
This chieftain was a gallant warrior ; he-fought on the side of the 
United States in the second war for independeitce ; was seriously 
wounded in one of the engagements on this frontier, and re- 
ceived a pension from our Government. Later in life he was 






Soon after the War of the Revolution, in the County of Scho- 
harie and State of New York somewhat more than a mile south 
of the County Seat, settled and lived Joseph Efner, an honest 
Dutchman, a Hollander. Having married Ruth Doty, a Quak- 
eress of English descent, he soon after adopted her religious 
principles, and was ever afterwards a staunch and sincere sup- 
porter of her faith. 

Here, on the north bank of a beautiful mountain stream 
that discharges its waters into the Schoharie Creek, about one 
mile west of my father's house, I was born on the 19th of March, 
1 791. My father was a tanner, and on tlie 4th of March, 1S04, 
before I had completed my i3th year I went to Albany with my 
father, on a load of leather, and became a bound apprentice to 
the firm of Potts (S: Smith, in State Street. Jesse Potts and 
Nehemiah Smith constituted the firm, and the sons of the former 
are still in business in that place. Having passed through what 
is common as I suppose to all apprentiresliips, I graduated on 
the 17th of July, 1S07, but desiring 'to travel 'and to see more 
of the world, I went north, combining enii)loyment with i->leasure 
and instruction, working first at Salem, Wasiiington County, 


thence to West Rutland, Vermont, remaining two months and a 
half in charge of a Mr. Wheaton's business ; and thence to 
Brandon, Middlebury, Burlington, St. Albans and Montreal, 
working in each place. 

On my return from Montreal about April i, 1808, I visited 
an uncle, Gilbert Doty, at Caldwells Manor, which was the first 
town in Canada separated from Vermont by a road, his house 
being in Canada and his barn in Vermont. This was in the 
time of the ** Embargo" and my visit gave me an opportunity 
of learning something of the perseverance and character of the 
Vermont people. During good sleighing the barn would be 
filled with pork, flour, potash, flaxseed and whatever would 
bring gold from Canada; which would soon be spirited away on 
some convenient night, and carried into Canada. 

This trade was kept up in defiance of the U. S. Government 
until the passage of the Non-intercourse Act, which enabled the 
proper officers to seize contraband property on suspicion on 
board of vessels or any other conveyance withm (if I rightly re- 
member) 30 miles of the frontier. 

At this place I witnessed a very novel and exciting scene. 
It was known that the Vermont lumbermen had collected im- 
mense quantities of lumber among the islands near Colchester. 
These rafts were joined together into one enormous raft which 
was fitted for 13 sails; the revenue officers with artillery at 
Windmill Point, had determined to contest the passage of the 
raft into Canada; the people were much excited about the suc- 
cess of the undertaking and all seemed to favor the enterprise. 

One morning early, before I had left my bed, I heard the 
shouts, "The raft, the rat't !" and there it was with 13 sails set. 
When opposite to Windmill Point, firing upon it commenced 
with cannon, but the wind was fair, and on they came, no one 
being visible on it except at the steering oars, until the U. S. 
boundary was passed, when some 200 men sprang upon 'the 
barrels of flour, potash, pork, etc., with which they had been 
barricaded, discharging their arms jn the air with exultation and 
defiance, thus triumphing ovet the lawsT)f their country. 

On the next morning following I began to journey back to 
Albany on foot, walking the entire distance as I had done from 


Albany to Montreal. After a short visit home I walked over to 
Herkimer, there being no stage at that time without returning to 
Schenectady or Albany. At that time (1808) I think Herki- 
mer contained nearly as many inhabitants as Utica then did ; 
the former say about 500 and the latter about 700. 

At Herkimer I found Charles Talmadge and John Mullet 
who were about forming a copartnership to start business in 
Buffalo. At Sackett's Harbor, whither I then went, I first met 
and made the acquaintance of John Sackrider, who also came to 
Buffalo in 181 2 ; and in September of that year he and myself 
uniformed Swift's Regiment, then stationed at the foot of Niagara 
Street. We boarded with Mrs. Dickinson, our shop being in her 
house, which was situated under the hill, six or seven rods up the 
River from the ferry house. The gun battery was on the 
ground where the Niagara-street Railroad buildings now are, 
and the mortar battery was in a ravine directly in our rear or 
east of us. Although occasionally annoyed by cannon shot 
striking the rocks between our shop and the river, and scattering 
fragments of them against our windows, I do not remember 
one instance of either ourselves or men leaving work for a 
moment on account of it. When the contract was completed 
we went to Buffalo and took a room in the second story of 
Townsend & Coit's building at the corner of Main and Swan 
streets, remaining there until after the '* Pomeroy Mob," when 
I went to Utica and remained until April, 1 813. I then returned 
again to Buffalo and for a short time was in the employment of 
Talmadge & Mullet, for the purpose of fixing whose first settle- 
ment, as also that of John Sackrider in Buffalo, this digression 
has been made. Sackrider is deserving of a much more extend- 
ed notice. General P. B. Porter used to say that he had no 
braver or more capable officer in his corps, and Col. Chapin, 
under whom he served as Captain, has always spoken of his 
courage as an ofticer. It was he who threw his stalwart arms 
around and his body upon the arms in the bow of the guard 
boat, when the party of prisoners of wliich Col. Chapin and 
Captain Kane were a part took the guard and brought them 
into Fort George, near the mouth of the Niagara River, where 
our army then had ])ossession. 


To return to my narrative. About the ist of August I met 
at Herkimer by appointment Mr. Ira Gilbert, whose acquaint- 
ance I had made at Albany, aud we proceeded to carry out an 
agreement then made to visit Little York, now Toronto, where 
his father resided and where my eldest brother lived, being em- 
ployed as printer for the Government. We started from Herki- 
mer in a one-horse gig. Our route was through Utica, Sullivan, 
Manlius Square, Jamesville, Onondaga Hollow, and Onondaga 
Hill, then the County Seat for Onondaga County. All tliere 
was of Syracuse then was a small frame tavern. We passed 
through Skaneateles, a beautiful village at the outlet of Skaneateles 
Lake ; Auburn, then known as Hardenburg's Corner, where 
there was a stone tavern, a blacksmith's shop, a mill, and I 
think two other houses. We put up one night at Hardenburg's 
who owned the mill as well as the tavern. Cayuga Lake was 
the next place. We crossed the lake in a flat-boat or scow ; 
there was a tavern and a few buildings on each side of the lake. 
The next place was Mynders' Mills, and a few dwellings now called 
Seneca Falls. I do not remember anything at what is now 
Waterloo, unless there may have been farmhouses. Geneva and 
Canandaigua were both flourishing villages. The former may 
have contained some 600, and the latter about 800 inhabitants. 
Thence we passed through Bloom field, Lyma, and Avon to 
Caledonia, the last named alone bearing indications of the be- 
ginning of a village. From Caledonia to Butavia there was no 
village, although most of the land adjoining the road seemed to 
be taken up, and built upon, mostly with log houses, and the 
road was comparatively good. Batavia was a thriving village of 
about 400 inhabitants. From Batavia to Buffalo we encountered 
the worst road I had ever seen, and as I now look back after the 
lapse of 56 yea -s, I cannot remember ever having seen so bad a 
road. It was made of round logs, of all sizes, laid crossways. 
From Batavia to Buffalo I do not think there were more *than 
five houses. Vandeveuter's was the first one we came to ; if 
Goss's Tavern was then built, it^was on a new rcuid not then 
much traveled ; the next was" Asa Rans^'om's, on the same side of 
the road, and in Clarence Hollow. We staid with him over 
night ; like most of the buildings in new countries, his was a log 


house, but sutficiently spacious for the requirements of travel at 
that time. There were two or three buildings (log houses) 
between Ransom's and Granger's, where Mr. Granger was build- 
ing a frame house, the first frame house west of Batavia and east 
of Buffalo. 

We reached Buffalo on the 8th day of August, 1808, and put 
up at a tavern on the ground where the Mansion House now 
stands. Here we remained three or four days looking about for 
village lots, but finally left for Little York without making any 
purchase. My recollection of Buffalo is that it then contained 
between 200 and 300 inhabitants, but the country around being 
sparsely settled, I considered the place too small for an additional 
shop at that time, but nevertheless determined to make it my 
future home, as soon as its business would warrant. 

There was no road to Black Rock then, without returning to 
the Guide-board Road (now North Street), except what nature 
had provided — the sand beach, which though heavy was much 
better than the corduroy road to Batavia. The ferry house at 
Black Rock stood on the rocks which have since been removed 
in excavating for the canal ; it was directly in front of the end of 
the street which passes on the south side of the street-railway Go's 
stables between Reserve lots 16 & 17, and there was a carriage- 
road in front of the building up and down the river. The road 
on the Canadian side of the river was then excellent, being 
smooth and dry all the way to Newark.* 

From Newark to the head of Lake Ontario to "Brandt's 
Tavern," then the only house there (I have not been there since 
and cannot say what the place is now called) the road was toler- 
ably good, although there were fewer inhabitants along the way 
than on the river road, which with the exception of Chippewa 
and Brampton was as veil settled as it now is. 

In November I returned to Albany again, leaving Little 
York in a schooner for the mouth of Genesee River from which 
I)lace I walked the entire distance. My thoughts continually 
reverted to Buffalo; and who after standing on the " Terrace " 
and looking off upon Lake Erie, having the L^ke region and the 
vast West with its probable future in his mind's eye, cw//r/ forget 

* Now Nias^ara, Out. 


Buffalo? Accordingly in the spring of 1809 I wended my way 
back again by another, then a better route : via the Mohawk 
River, Oneida Lake and Oswego River to Oswego, thence in the 
Schooner British Queen (Capt. Steel) to Lewiston on the Niagara 
River. We were nearly two days making the trip between 
Oswego and Lewiston. From. Lewiston I traveled on foot over 
a good road made by Porter Barton &: Co. to Schlosser, where I 
took a Durham boat for Black Rock, arriving at Bird Island pier 
the same evening. 

This was the best and I may say the only route by which 
merchandise was transported to Buffalo, and west of it at that 
time, and the boat I was in contained the stock of a Western 
merchant who was then on board. The cargo was discharged 
in a warehouse situated on Bird Island near the south end of 
Black Rock Pier, about an acre of which was above water, and 
the water in front of the dock, on the lower side of the Island, 
was of sufficient depth to float the largest vessel then on the 
Lake. All the commerce of the western Lakes was carried on 
from this Island and Fort Erie in Canada; that is, all the merchan- 
dise that went from the East, or came from the West up to that 
period was stored at the two places mentioned, or put on board 
of vessels direct, at these places only. 

That evening I went to Buffalo and engaged to work forTal- 
madge & Mullet, and also for Mr. Lewis, whose shop was in the 
second story of Joseph Stocking's store on the corner of Main 
and Swan streets. The County Clerk's office for Niagara County 
was on the same floor, Mr. Le Couteulx being the Clerk and 
Mr. Holmes, who married a daughter of Doctor Cyrenius ChajHn, 
being the Deputy Clei;k. In July I again went to Little York 
and worked for Mr. Jbim Murchison, in whose emi)loy I had 
also been in t8cS. Upon returning in October I visited Mr. 
Doty in the town of Porter, and as an evidence of the then 
sparce settlement oi that region, I will mention that I was depu- 
tised to summon a coroner's jury, upon the principle i>erhaps 
that I had nothing else to do, and I accei)ted the duties for the 
sake of seeing the country. The names'of the jurors were given 
to me (what would I not give for a coi)y of those names !); they 
were the heads of families at Lewiston, Niagara Falls and east 




on the Ridge Road to Molineaux, including all the settlers by 
the way. 

The jury appeared promptly at 9 o'clock the next morning, 
at the house of 'Squire Doty, and all on horseback jjroceeded to 
where the body was found, about five miles further down Lake 
Ontario. It proved to be that of a British soldier who about 
ten days before, had fallen overboard from a vessel going into ~ 
the Niagara River. Only imagine — more than forty miles of 
travel to summon a coroner's jury ! 

From the town of Porter I went in a bateau to Sodus Bay 
with Mr. Reed, sutler at Fort Niagara, and thence on foot to 
Albany, returning early in the Spring to Salt Point, where in 
connection with E. M. H. Safford we opened shop and worked 
for salt, which was legal tender there, money being mostly out 
of use. I boarded at Rowe's Tavern, where were also the prin- 
cipal salt purchasers at that place. Having got all the salt I 
could transport I left for Oswego in company with John Rich- 
ardson. He was a brave man, and the only Volunteer Captain 
whose whole company crossed t3 Fort Erie to engage in the sortie 
of Sept. 17, 1814. I saw them volunteer, every man passing 
around the square, during a tremendous rain-storm, General 
Porter leading, drenched meanwhile in rain. 

Our salt was taken to Oswego in one of Goodhue »S: Go's 
boats and in one of ^heir vessels to Lewiston. Mine was landed 
at Fort Erie from Queenston where were my means of transporta- 
tion. I sold the salt, and never engaged in the trade again, 
although this had yielded a profit. At Fort Erie I worked for 
Mr. Moon, until the salt which had to take its turn arrived, 
\Yhen I again crossed into Buffalo, and remained until Novem- 
ber, 1810. 

In this month I went to Maysville * in Chautauqua County, 
landing from a schooner at Portland, now Barcelona, and |)ut 
up at Samuel Wilkeson's, who settled in BuffLilo in 1S14. He • 
was an active and prominent citizen, holding various oftices in 
the gift of the people, and was among jthe most prominent in 
obtaining the side-cut canal from' Black R^ck to Butlalo and 
the building of the harbor here. Samuel Wilkeson was truly 

* Now spelled " .Mayville." 


faithful to his political friends. An early acquaintance and the 
interest of Buffalo, which all but three or four of our citizens 
espoused, threw us much together. Both of us were " VVar 
Democrats" during the War of 1812. 

• These interests led us to follow the fortunes of DeWitt 
Clinton who favored our interest in opposition to Samuel Young 
and Peter B. Porter. Thus we went on harmoniously, each 
doubtless trying to persuade himself that he was all the while, 
still a Democrat, until Henry Clay in 1825 cast the vote of 
Kentucky for John Quincy Adams, instead of Andrew Jackson, 
who had the greater number of votes and had by his valuable 
services earned preference. I then returned to the Democratic 
fold where I have ever since been, and from that time I lost the 
friendship of Wilkeson. 

This fact is mentioned to account for his omitting my name 
in all his "Harbor Reports, " notwithstanding I was the largest 
individual subscriber to indemnify the stockholders of the steam- 
boat Superior for any loss they might sustain on account of not 
getting the boat out of Buffalo Creek, after it was built, if they 
would consent to build it here instead of Black Rock. The 
boat was built here, and we, the subscribers to the bond, were 
assessed pro rata to open the channel, in addition to which I 
gave my own services, working in the water up to my waist, as 
laborers could not be obtained. I put this on paj^er, because 
the old citizens who were witnesses to what I state are fast pass- 
ing away. 

My object in landing at Portland was to visit Maysville. 
Chautauqua Co., about nine miles distant, a favorable place, as 
I had been informed, for business. I found the i)lace however 
too small, and returned to Portland the same evening, where I 
found Mr. James Sloan, now a resident of Black Rock. Much 
of the conversation that night was upon the practicability of 
making a voyage at that season of the year in an open loaded 
bateau to Detroit. We finally concluded to attempt the trip : 
and after taking in the cargo, wh4ch consisted of such goods as 
were salable to Indians and Frenchmen who were engaged 
whice fishing in Detroit River, we started and after some re- 
markable adventures and mishaps resulting from the storms we 


encountered, we reached Cleveland, from which place it was 
thought best to arrange with a captain of a vessel bound for 
Detroit, to tow our boat and take the cargo on board, wliich we 
accordingly did. 

Detroit was then the largest village west of Schenectady, and 
Erie, Pa., was next in importance on the Lakes. I remained 
during that winter at Detroit, and left on the 15th of April, 
181 1, in company with Mr. James Sloan ; and as the only 
methods of returning were to purchase horses, go on foot through 
the wilderness, wait for a vessel late in the season, or purchase a 
canoe (a dug-out), we chose the last-named. I enjoyed the trip 
very much, loving it for its sports, as well as for its very perils. 
We had fowling-pieces for game, and spear for fish, both of 
which were abundant in the coves, creeks and marshes. We did 
not paddle but laid bv for fair wind, using our blankets for sails. 

At that time there were but few clearings visible along the 
shore, except Frenchtown, now Munroe, and Maumee; there 
was no village until we arrived at Erie, unless Cleveland, Grand 
River, Ashtabula and Conneaut, each of which contained two 
or three houses, could be so called. Erie had enjoyed a con- 
siderable carrying trade from the Lakes to the Ohio at Pittsburg, 
via Le Boeuf, French Creek and Allegheny River. 

It was during this year, and while I was at Pittsburg, that I 
witnessed the launching of the first steamboat on the western 
waters. I well remember the arrival there of the 4th U. S. 
Infantry, Col. Boyd. It was composed of the best material I 
had ever seen in any service, a large proportion of the men 
being seamen who had been thrown out of employment by the 
ernbargo, and were then direct from Fort Independence, Boston, 
Mass. Their discipline, their parades, and their reviews were 
superior to anything I have ever seen in any service. I was 
strongly tempted to go with them ; but unwilling to enlist in 
time of peace, I determined to follow. It was rumored that 
they were going to chastise the Indians who had become trouble- 
some in Western Indiana, under the Ij^adership of Tecumseh. 
Coming up with them at Vincennes' where tlTey had halted for 
the arrival and organization of volunteers, I went into the em- 
ployment of the commissary. 


The Battle of Tippecanoe is familiar to all, and I can truly 
say that every man did his duty. After caring for the wounded 
and burying the dead, destroying the Indian village and digging 
up their buried corn and burning it, we turned back towards 
Vincennes again. The chiefs and head men among the Indians 
sued for peace in the Spring, and held a Council with General 
Harrison on the 4th day of March, 181 2, and agreed to be 
friends, but a few days afterwards they commenced killing the 
settlers in every direction. One morning a young man entered 
Vincennes before daylight, announcing the murder of a whole 
family, nine in number, named Herryman, on the Embarras River. 
The whole village was collected together, and was addressed by 
General Harrison, received arms and ammunition, and marched 
in every direction to protect the settlers. 

On the 8th of May, 1812, I left Vincennes in company with 
the 4th Regiment, commanded by Col. Miller (General Boyd 
having gone East), and the reception with which we met at Louis- 
ville, Lexington, Cincinnati, and other places was most enthus- 
iastic. We united with Hull's army at Dayton, Ohio, marched 
thence to Springfield and Urbana ; from the latter })lace our 
route to the Maumee River lay through an unbroken wilderness, 
through which we cut a road the entire distance, building two 
block-houses by the way. We forded the Maumee River at the 
rapids, and it was at this place, on the next day after our arrival, 
and after we had despatched our medical stores, surgical instru- 
ments and many valuable army stores on board a schooner, 
together with such officers as had their wives with them, that we 
first heard of the declaration of war between the United States 
. and Cireat Britain. As a matter of course, these all fell into the 
hands of the enemy in passing Maiden, they having received 
the intelligence two days in advance of us, along the whole 

It was at this place I met my worthy old friend William 
Baird, U. S. express rider, on his return trip from Detroit, 
whither he had been with Government despatches from ButTalo. 
We arrived at Detroit early in July.' Capt. Doquinder was 
recruiting a company of " one year or the war" men, and I 
immediately became a member of his corps as full private. My 


first fight was at the River Canard in Canada, in an expedition 
commanded by Col. Cass and McArthiir, who expected to take 
the guard stationed at the bridge but failed to accomplish it, 
mainly on account of the attack on the bridge being too soon 
and too impetuous. Cass's party had made a wide circuit and 
had forded some distance above, and the party on the road was 
only to amuse the enemy until we had gained their rear; instead 
of which they were driven off before it was possible for us to 
get around. 

About the last of July Major VanHorn with about 300 men 
left Detroit to bring up Col. Brush who was at River Raisin with 
200 men and supplies for our army. This party fell into an 
ambush at Truago and were defeated and dispersed, but our com- 
pany was not of the party. As soon as their fate was known, 
we were ordered from Canada to Detroit, and on the next day 
we left on the same errand with 580 men, about 250 of whom 
were of the old 4th Regiment, the whole under the command of 
Col. James Miller, the same who at Lundy's Lane, on being asked 
if he could take that park of artillery, said, " I will try, sir !" 
If any man of this small force had not betbre made up his mind 
to win, I think he did so when he passed the mangled and un- 
buried men of VanHorn's party at Truago ; but before the set- 
ting of that day's sun, we gained a signal triumph over more 
than twice our number at the battle of Brownstown, which Gen- 
eral Miller always regarded as his greatest achievement. The 
enemy were pursued to their boats, and crossed to Maiden. 

Instead of allowing us to accomplish the objects of the expe- 
dition, now while the road was open to us, we were ordered 
back to Detroit the next day, and by the perfidy of Hull, be- 
came prisoners to General Brock, August 16, 181 2. The arms, 
ordnance and the regular troops were sent to Fort Erie, in the 
John Adams and Qi.een Charlotte, and the volunteers were sent 
to Cleveland, Ohio, where we were landed on the morning of 
the 22d of August, from the schooner Nancy, Capt. James 
Rough, whose mate was Walter Norton-. ^On the same day Mr. 
Norton, Capt. Richard Smith, Josepli Gooleyand myself started 
on foot for home at Buffalo, where we arrived on the ist of 


The Pomeroy Mob occurred in December, 1812. Pomeroy 
had been much annoyed by the soldiers occupying his bar-room 
and monopolizing the fire-place to the exclusion of travelers and 
the citizens. One day he remonstrated against such conduct as 
an abuse to which he would no longer submit, and was said to 
have used very strong language. The next day the soldiers be- 
gan to collect in front of his tavern and vicinity, and waiting 
until the boarders (among whom were many of their officers) 
had gone into the dining-room for dinner, they commenced 
breaking up the bar, with its contents, destroying the front 
windows and damaging the house generally, some of them say- 
ing, 'Met us fire the building," which they afterwards did. 
Knowing that Doctor Blood of the 4th Regiment lay sick of a 
wound in his chamber, I went up with three others to save him, 
and while bringing him down the hall stairs which they were 
pulling to pieces some of them struck their bayonets over the 
bunk at the wounded man, but upon being assured it was not 
Pomeroy they allowed us to pass out. I then Avent to Mr. 
Joseph Stocking and told him that a few armed men should go 
down to the mob, not to interfere, but to rescue persons in 
danger. He opposed it, as being unsafe, but one of his men and 
John Mullet went with me, and we each, with musket loaded 
and bayonets fixed, took our station about two rods outside of 
the rioters. Mr. Stocking came to us again, begging us to re- 
turn. It was well however, that we remained, for soon we saw 
Mr. Abel Grosvenor, a highly esteemed citizen, running towards 
us, with the mob at his heels, they having mistaken him for 
Pomeroy. He stumbled and fell, and at the same moment we 
charged over his body and saved liim. Just at that moment a 
company ot soldiers who were quartered ai the jail, came down 
on the run and we were all saved. The company did no more 
than to halt, their numbers being insufficient fur an attack 
on the rioters. Col. Moses Porter of U. S. .-Vrtiller\- wascanriK'd 
on the south side of Church Street, between the Terrace and 
Franklin Street, with a very good set of men. The rioters* 
camp was on the south side of" Court Street on the Terrace and 
the site of the present Wilkeson block. There were some 
Pennsylvania troops where Delaware Street now is, south of 


Ferry Street, and the U. S. regular Infantry were at '' Flint 
Hill" on the Granger farm. It was Smythe's brigade. 

Col. Porter determind to break up the mob at once. His 
whole force was drawn up, their guns shotted, and with the 
exception of two companies which he took with him, were left 
ready to support him if necessary, or defend the camp. When 
he reached a point a little south of South Division Street, he 
halted one company with two pieces of artillery, ready for 
action, and with the other company marched directly towards 
the mob, his men being armed with a sword and a brace of 
pistols each. Porter entered the building at the head of one 
file, and the other two went to the right and left, surrounding 
the building. Those outside started for their camp for arms, 
declaring they would be revenged upon the artillery whom they 
considerably outnumbered. All was anxiety, and fears were 
entertained as to the result, but little resistance was made in the 
tavern. A few billets of wood and bayonets were used, but 
the hands that used them fell with them and the riot was over 
there. We feared however that they would fall upon the artil- 
lery, and overpower them, when we beheld the Flint Hill men 
in heavy columns advancing upon the rioters' camp, and all 
was safe. They were surrounded and made prisoners and the 
choice given them, either to be dismissed from. the service, and 
sent home, or march directly to Scajaquada Creek, not to visit 
Buffalo again, and to hold themselves ready to march into 
Canada at a moment's notice. They chose the latter, and after- 
wards proved themselves among the best troops we had. 

In May, 1813, after Dearborn's Army returned from taking 
Little York, they encamped on the lake shore, about three 
miles below Fort Niagara; on the farm of Mr. E. Doty, from 
which place it was known a descent was to be made on Fort 
George and Newark, now Niagara. I went down to see the 
sport, and had the pleasure of witnessing the whole affair from 
the top of the mess house <y{ Fort Niagara, where we had a 
battery which was constantly engaged with the enemy's batteries. 

It was the most beautiful sight 'I ever sa^'. The morning 
was clear and bright, with a light wind off shore, scarcely mak- 
ing a rii)ple on the water. Our fleet moved slowly uj), going no 


faster than the row-boats, which were between them and the 
shore, and contained our infantry. All passed the Niagara 
River except the Growler, which anchored near Fort Niagara, 
and kept up a constant fire from that point. Our forces landed 
about half a mile above the mouth of the river under cover of 
the guns of the shipping. The first brigade was in the van, 
under General Scott. As the boats neared the shore, a rapid 
fire was opened upon them by the enemy who till then had lain 
concealed. The first attempt of our men to reach the top of 
the bank was repulsed, but before the second brigade had landed. 
thefirstre-formed,andwith the inspiring air of '' Yankee Doodle," 
they charged up again, and held their ground until the enemy 
retreated before them. The enemy had previously been driven 
out of Fort George^ by shot and shell from our batteries ; and 
all the buildings in the fort had been fired early in the morning. 

My partner, Thomas Shearer, and myself crossed over the ' 
same day and rented a building of Mr. Wagstaff, and imme- 
diately had all the business we could do. We remained there 
until the ist of October, when I returned to Buffalo, and on the 
evening of my arrival, entered into partnership with Mr. James 
Sweeney, who came to Buffalo in June, 1813. (Mr. Shearer pre- 
ferring to follow the Army down the St. Lawrence.) This 
copartnership continued seven years. We then occupied a room 
in the second story of Joshua Gillett's store, corner of Main 
Street and the Terrace. There was a Citizens' Company here, 
to which all not otherwise in the service belonged ; it had no 
regular organization, and consisted of such only, as from time 
to time assembled when the alarm gun was fired. Mr. Sweeney 
and myself never failed to go directly to the rendezvous, the 
Square now occupied by St. Paul's Church. Our first business 
on assembling was to elect officers from such as were present. 

On the night of December 29th when the British troops 
crossed over to burn Buffalo, Joseph Bull was chosen cajxain. 
and we marched to Black Rock, only to see our troojis retire in 
the most disgraceful rout and disorder. Those belonging East 
retired in that direction, whiie those who belonged West, scam- 
pered up the beach, and no power could stop them. We re- 
mained until there was no hope of checking the enemy and then 
retired on Niagara Street to Buffalo. 



Johnson, a Kentuckian, one of Commodore Perry's gunners, 
had gone to the beach for a gun. I followed down and met the 
party near where the Canal crosses Commercial Street, and 
assisted them in bringing up the piece, which was mounted on a 
truck carriage, such as were then used on the decks of vessels. 
We got it in position on Main Street, opposite Niagara, and 
commenced firing, when the enemy arrived opposite the old 
tannery, but after the third shot it became unfit for use. Just 
at that moment Mr. Seth Grosvenor came to me bearing a white 
flag, saying he had been quite on the hill, and remembering 
that I was a paroled prisoner, and seeing me at the gun, came 
back to save me. The British troops were then formed in the 
graveyard on Franklin Square, and Col. Chapin was mounted 
and ready to go to them with a flag of truce, to make the best 
terms he could for the surrender of the place, and he also ad- 
vised me to leave at once. At that time there were but seven- 
teen persons remaining in sight and about the gun. Of these I can 
now remember only the following : Col. Chapin, Robert Kane, 
James Sweeney, Lyman Worden, Seth Grosvenor, Samuel 
Parker, Elisha Foster, George Stow, Jason Tigner, Timothy 
McCuen, Joseph Hoyt, Mr. Hull, myself and the sailor Johnson 
before alluded to as a Kentuckian ; and Groesbeck, who was 
wounded in the face at Black Rock that morning. I left directly, 
going West, and to show that I did not leave any too .soon I will 
state a person who joined us near the Terrace, was shot going 
down the hill, at the end of the Terrace. He was a blacksmith 
and I think his name was Sj^ringsted or something like it. 

We returned to Buffalo on the afternoon of the 2d of Janu- 
ary, 1S14. and remained until evening, visiting Reese's black- 
smith shop where had already been collected 13 bodies of our 
slain; and on finding that Mrs. Si. John, who occupied the only 
remaining house, could not lodge us, we went to William^ville 
that night, nnd in the morning walked over to Mrs. \'ande- 
venter's, about eight miles. Here we found Mrs. LeCouteulx 
with two sleighs loaded with furniture ami jucejjted her invita- 
tion to ride to Bata\ia, where she fi)UiTd her husband, who had 
left Buffalo before her. From IkUavia we went to Utica. thence 
to Sackett's Harbor, and after visiting .\lban_\ returned auain to 
lUiffalo, arriving here about the ist of June, 1S14. 


Abraham Larzelere, who lived at Newark, U. C, when our 
army took possession of that place but who was a native of New 
Jersey, moved to Buffalo early in the Sj^ring of 1814, and built 
the house next south of where Dr. Shelton lives on the west side 
of Pearl Street ;''^ and Sweeney & Efner occupied the half story 
above him. That building still remains, as does the old 
*' Forbes" house, southwest corner of Pearl and Swan Streets t 
which we purchased in January, 1815, and moved into. Having 
soon after sold it, we bought the lot on Main Street, where 
Barnum's variety store now is, and as a little matter of history, 
I would mention that in front of this lot in 181 4 I witnessed the 
execution of a Canadian Indian by Seneca Indians, they having 
condemned him as a spy, upon very trifling evidence. All our 
efforts to save the poor fellow were in vain, and after having 
shot him through the heart with a rifle ball, they lashed the body 
to a pole and bore it away on their shoulders for burial. 

Our army crossed into Canada on the 3d day of July, 
1814. Scott's Brigade crossed in boats from near the ground 
below where the stables of the Niagara Street Railway Company 
now are; the second brigade, commanded by Gen. Bissell, went 
a few miles above Fort Erie in vessels, and landed there. As 
lookers-on Sweeney and myself went over with the first brigade. 
(I had been exchanged the previous May.) The fort was im- 
mediately invested, and surrendered after firing but three cannon 
shots down the road we were moving up. Leaving a sufiticient 
guard in the fort, the army returned to the river, opposite the 
ferry, and encamped for the night, and Sweeney and myself re- 
turned in the boats which brought over the prisoners. On the 
glorious 4th the army moved down the river and fired a National 
salute at the enemy at Black Creek, and on the 5th the great 
battle of Chippewa was fought and won in true military style 
over the veterans of the Peninsular War in Spain. Our army 
then crossed Chippewa Creek and moved down to Fort George 
and invested it ; the enemy at that time held both sides of the 
river, at its mouth, Fort Niagara having been taken by Major 
Murray in December, 1813, and not yet retaken. Soon after 

• Site of the new St. Paul's Guild house. 

t Now the site of Dun's lo-story ofiice building. 


the investment of Fort George the enemy began to collect forces 
at Burlington Heights at the head of Lake Ontario, to raise the 
siege, and if possible to cut off our retreat. As soon as it was 
known that a large force was approaching from that direction, 
our army retired towards their garrison at Fort Erie. 

While preparing to cross Chippewa Creek, intelligence was 
brought that the enemy were in force at Lundy's Lane. Gen- 
eral Brown, who was Commander-in-Chief, ordered General 
Scott to return with his command and reconnoiter. Scott sent 
word back that the enemy were in force, and immediately gave 
battle, holding his position in the open field until his supports 
arrived. This was the hardest-fought battle during the war. 
Our army remained masters of the field, but as we retired the 
next day across the Chippewa, the enemy claimed a victory. 
We certainly took the most prisoners, and among them General 
Riall. It was in this battle that General Miller replied to the 
question whether he could take the battery which was so destruc- 
tive to our ranks, saying, ''I will try, sir." This was on July 
25th and our army arrived at Fort Erie about the ist of Au- 
gust, and by the 5th the enemy had invested the place on the land 
side, the communication by water to Buffalo being open during 
the whole siege. A few days after the investment, the enemy 
crossed over, about 1300 men, and landed them below Scaja- 
quada's Creek, intending another raid upon Buffalo, but Major 
Forsyth held the southern bank of that stream with 250 riflemen 
who had taken up the plank from the bridge, and so disposed of 
some logs and timber as to afford protection against musketry. 
Every attempt to cross on the stringpieces was repulsed with 
heavy loss. The enemy then filed into the woods intending to 
continue up the stream to a ford, but the riflemen kept opposite 
them, sheltering themselves behind trees, and making sure of 
their man at every fire, until the enemy finally retraced their 
steps, and returned to Fort Erie. 

On the dark night of August 25th, General Drummond made 
a desperate attempt to storm Fort Erie.^ Our infantry lay 
along a line of breastworks, extending from the l"'ort toTowson's 
battery, along the angle from his battery into the river, and also 
along the angle from the northeast bastion of the Fort into 


about four feet of water at each termination, our artillery being 
in Towson's battery and in Fort Erie. The enemy exceeded us 
largely in numbers, and battled manfully for the prize, but did 
not get into our works, except at the northeasterly bastion of 
Fort Erie, which was taken by a storming part}-, closely followed 
by a heavy column of infantry supports. At the moment when 
the enemy were pouring in, and around it, either by accident or 
design, the bastion blew up. Lieut. McDonough, its brave 
defender, perished in it. 

This terminated the contest; such of the enemy as were able 
to retire, did so leaving behind them their dead and wounded. 
Mr. Sweeney and myself assisted in bringing the wounded from 
the landing to the hospital, and the faces of the poor fellows were 
so fearfully disfigured, that the sight of them was sickening. 
From Towson's battery there was a continuous sheet of fire, and 
every attempt to storm it was repulsed. The Dewateville Corps 
endeavored to flank it, by turning the angle, by wading around 
the end, around the angle wall, which extended into the river; 
this however had been provided against, by placing a sufficient 
guard there to receive and disarm them as fast as they came 
around. This was done in the niost quiet manner, except as to 
such as either attem[)ted to return or make fight, who were shot 
down, to float away by the strong current there. 

The siege was continued until the 17th of September, 1S14, 
when that brilliant and memorable sortie was made which 
relieved us from the presence of the enemy in this vicinity dur- 
ing the remainder of the war. General Peter B. Porter had 
been for a few days collecting volunteers liere, fi^r the purpose 
of raising the siege; these couUl not be compelled against their 
wishes, to go bevond our frontier, and resort was therefore had 
to calling for volunteers from them to cross over. They were 
accordingly formed on Niagara Street, with their left bent round 
on Main Street, and General Porter, leading the music, passed 
along their front, calling for volunteers. The march was down 
Main and Erie streets to Pearl; :uid up Pearl to Niagara again. 
The first time around he appeared to *liave got somewhat more 
than half. One comj>any, that of Cajnain Richardson of 
Cavuira Countv. all volunteered the first time around, livery 



time they passed around, the volunteers would cheer, and jeer 
their comrades who were left, and this continued until nearly all 
of them had been brought in. Thomas C. Love was among 
the number (from Genesee County I believe), and after the war 
became an honored citizen of Buffalo. I well remember that 
this volunteering took place during the most tremendous rain- 
storm I ever witnessed. General Porter was completely drenched, 
but would seek no shelter until his work was finished. The 
volunteers were then marched to the boats prepared for them, 
and taken over to the fort. 

The sortie as before stated was on the 17th and the column 
led by General Porter consisted of volunteers and a few Indians 
who made a circuit so as to strike the right flank of the enemy, 
cutting out the underbrush as they advanced ; and the regulars, 
commanded by General Miller, took a position in the ravine, 
between the fort and the enemy's batteries, and were to move 
upon them directly- upon the commencement of firing being 
heard from Porter's party. The charge was promptly made 
and beautifully executed ; the guns (24-pounders) were spiked, 
the trunnions knocked off with sledge-hammers, taken with them 
for that purpose, and the gun-carriages broken up. The enemy 
began to retire the next day towards Burlington Heights, and 
continued until we were left in undisputed possession of the 
l)lace. The enemy held Fort Niagara until the close of the war. 

In 1S36 I went over the ground with General Miller, who 
related a circumstance to which he attributed much of the spirit 
of impulse and daring evinced by his men on that occasion. 
He said that after his men had all arrived in the ravine, and just 
as he was about to join them, a disi)atch boat from Buffalo 
brought him a handbill giving the first news of the victory over 
the British fleet at Plattsburg, which he read to his men, and the 
instant he finislied the reading, the firing commenced by Gen. 
Porter's column, when his men rose up, and with cheers and 
shouts rushed upon the batteries and. carried them. 

The copartnership of Sweeney and- Efner continued until 
1S20, when Mr. Sweeney moved tcr the comer of Main and 
Erie streets, doing a successfiil business until the loss of his 
sight, when ho purchased the land at the confluence of Niagara 


River and Tonawanda Creek, a part of which he laid out into 
village lots, and resided there until his death, on January 13, 
1850, mourned by numerous friends, and by the poor to whose 
wants he never turned a deaf ear. 





Dr. Ebenezer Johnson was born in New England on the 7th 
day of November, 1786. His father, Captain Ebenezer Johnson, 
was born May 9, 1760. The latter was married to Deborah 
Lathrop, the mother of Dr. Johnson, August 13, 1783. The 
following, copied from the fly leaf of an old family Bible, shows 
the vigorous and eventful life of Dr. Johnson's father : 

The life of Captain Johnson, an old sea captain, was full of extraordinary 
vicissitudes. During the Revolution he narrowly escaped the massacre at 
Fort Groton, having been refused admittance into the last boat which left for 
the shore, it being already overloaded. He was fired at in company wiih four 
others, while retreating from New London, after it was taken by the enemy. 
His companions were all killed, and he escaped with seven ball holes through 
his clothes. During part of the Revolutionary War he was employed as 
deputy commissary for the New Erigland forces. He was engaged in sixteen 
actions at sea during the Revolution, was seven times taken prisoner, and was 
confined three months in the Jersey prison ship, where as is well known, 
incredible hardships were endured, and few survived to relate their sufferings. 
On one occasion, while a prisoner, he and his comrades, being driven to des- 
peration by their sufferings, Captain Johnson secured a light, and making his 
way to the magazine of powder, threatened to tVre it unless the officers would 
pledf^e him their honor to grant the prisoners some reli«f and not injure him 
for what he had done. The othcers, knowing his determined character, 
acceded to his terms. 


He assisted in boarding vessels of the enemy at seven different times, and 
once he, with four others, having sprung on Ijoard an English vessel, a heavy 
sea separated the ships, preventing any more of the American crew from com- 
ing to their assistance ; but they carried the vessel, which was a transport 
loaded with prisoners, before their own ship could again be laid alongside the 

At another time, when in command of a privateer off the West Indies, he 
came across an English vessel. A severe encounter ensued, which continued 
until darkness and high winds separated them. At daybreak no enemy was to 
be seen, and on mustering the survivors it was found that forty-seven only were 
alive out of a crew of one hundred and nine. 

Captain Johnson greatly distinguished himself when a sailor before the 
mast, at a capture of a prize loaded with arms and ammunition, by his extra- 
ordinary strength and courage, at the head of the boarders, carrying the ves- 
sel in five minutes. He was several times wrecked, and once after losing his 
ship, and all his men save one, traveled eighty miles, bare-foot and almost 
naked, under the burning sun of the West Indies, his feet torn by thorns, be- 
fore he could find a human habitation. 

In the severe winter of 1780 he was taken almost lifeless from the snow, 
and was with difficulty restored. 

To recount the '' moving accidents by flood and field," 
which occurred in his eventful life, would take a volume. It 
was indeed a miracle of Providence that he should have escaped 
such multiplied dangers to die in his bed at the advanced age of 
81 years. 

Captain Johnson left the sea soon after the close of the Revo- 
lutionary War but always retained many of the peculiarities of a 
sailor and a deep interest in the welfare of seamen. He never 
forgot the mariner's phraseology, and during his last words, in 
his momentary deliriimi, he uttered the command which was 
familiar to his youth," '' Bear down, boys, and prepare to board!" 
He was a member of the Episcopal Church and expressed in his 
last moments his reliance upon the Saviour for happiness here- 

Dr. Ebenezer Johnson studied his i)rofession with the cele- 
brated Dr. White of Cherry ViiUey, in this State. Intending 
to settle in Buffalo, at the age o'f 2^% he brought a letter of 
introduction to Mr. Erastus Granger, of which the following is a 
coi)y : 


Cherry Valley, Aug. 31, 1809. 
Erastus Granger, Esq., 

Dear Sir : — The bearer of this letter (Dr. Johnson) is in pursuit of a place 
in order to settle himself in his professional business. I have directed him to 
call on you as the most suitable person to advise him of the propriety or im- 
propriety of settling in Buftalo. Dr. Johnson hath been a student with Judge 
White before and ever since my partnership with the Judge, and it is but 
doing my duty to Dr. Johnson to state that he is a young man of unblemished 
morals, well read in his profession, and justly entitled to the patronage of the 

I remain with respect and esteem, your much obliged friend, 


Of his first appearance in Buffalo it has been said : *' Among 
the new comers was another of the big men, who by strength of 
brain and will, and almost of arm, fairly lifted Buffalo over the 
shoals of adverse fortune." Tall, broad-shouldered, fair-faced 
and stout-hearted, young Dr. Ebenezer Johnson entered on the 
practice of his profession with unbounded zeal and energy in 
the fall of 1S09, and for nearly thirty years scarcely any man 
exercised a stronger influence in the village and city of his 

It is not certain that Dr. Johnson presented the letter above 
referred to till late in iSio, at which time it is believed he came 
permanently to Buffalo and entered upon the practice of his 
profession, but not without encountering some obstacles to his 
immediate success. Dr. Cyrenius Chapin had already estab- 
lished himself as a practicing physician and had opened a drug 
store, through which means he had nearly the monopoly of busi- 
ness. Dr. Johnson was young and without capital, and he 
applied to Mr. Ellicott, the agent of the Holland Land Com- 
pany, to aid him by a loan of a few hundred dollars to enable 
him to open an opposition drug store, representing to Mr. Elli- 
cott that his settling in Buffalo to practice medicine, had already 
reduced the expense of medical attendance to the inhabitants at 
least one-third, and that the establishment of another drug store 
would reduce the price of the articles he proposed to keep in the 
same proportion. His letter to Mr.* Ellicott is dated January 4, 
181 1, and closes with saying: •' I shall be on my way to Albany 
the first sleighing, and will do myself the i^leasure to call on you at 


your office." Whether the application was successful or not does 
not appear from the correspondence ; but from the fact that on 
the breaking out of the war Dr. Johnson accepted an appoint- 
ment from the State as assistant surgeon of volunteers, which he 
held to the close of the war, it is inferred that he did not imme- 
diately carry out his design of opening a drug store. He con- 
tinued in the practice of medicine up to the close of the war. 

We take the following from an old copy of the Buffalo Com- 
mercial Advertiser, bearing date October 8, 1849 ' 

The death of the Hon. Ebenezer Johnson, late of this city, has already- 
been noticed in the Commercial, but something more is due to the memory of 
one of our oldest citizens, who was for many years connected with all the 
important interests and events of this city. Dr. Johnson became a resident of 
Buffalo before the commencement of the last war with Great Britain, and was 
for several years a practicing physician, having an extensive ride through the 
then sparsely settled country in the vicinity of Buffalo. 

He was for a time connected with the army as a surgeon, and was absent 
from his family on this duty at the time the village was destroyed by the British. 
After the war Dr. Johnson left his profession and entered into mercantile 
business in connection with the late Judge Wilkeson, and was engaged for 
many years in an extensive and lucrative business. He was an exceedingly 
prompt and energetic business man, distinguished for his punctuality and 
industry, and was, until the reverses of 1836, one of the wealthiest citizens in 
Western New York. He filled several offices with credit, among which was 
that of Surrogate of the County of Erie. 

He was the first Mayor chosen under the city charter, and was subse- 
quently elected for a second term. It is no disparagement of many excellent 
officers who have administered the affairs of the city to say that a more active 
and efficient chief magistrate never presided over the Corporation of Buffalo. 

He was a man very rigid in the enforcement of business obli- 
gations, but had nothing of a narrow or contracted spirit. He 
was ever ready to contribute both time and money to the inter- 
ests of this city, and was generous to a fault. 

The act to incorporate the City of BuffLilo was passed Ai)ril 
20, 1832. The Common Council were elected upon the 26th 
day of May of that year, and held their first meeting for choice 
of^^ayorupon the 2Sth of May. _ In addition to the oftice of 
Mayor, Dr. Johnson held also durin^ thc\t year, the then respon- 
sible and honorable position of President uf the BulTalo Literary 
and Scientific Academv. 


A gentleman well known in this city and one who was inti- 
mately acquainted with him in business, as well as socially, thus 
tersely describes him : '' He was generous and social in nature, 
pleasing in countenance, commanding in appearance, frank in 
expression, decided in his conclusions, self-reliant, a strict discip- 
linarian and obeying all laws of City, State and Country, except- 
ing the law against usury and shaving notes." Another old 
resident of the city, speaking of Dr. Johnson says: *' I knew 
him well. He was a man perfectly honest and straightforward 
in all his dealings with men." He would frequently say, '' To 
do this is clearly my duty, and when my duty is clear it is per- 
emptory." He never swerved from what his conscience and 
judgment dictated, either to shield a friend or harass a foe. 
Take him all in all he was a man pre-eminently fitted to fill 
positions of public trust and honor. 

His first purchase of real estate was in 1814, although his 
name appears as an applicant for lots in the books of the Hol- 
land Land Company in 181 1 and 181 2. He purchased inner 
lot No. 67^ on Main Street in 1814, upon which he built a 
wood dwelling, where he resided until he built the stone cottage 
on Delaware Street, now occupied by the Buffalo Female 
Academy. He purchased outer lot No. 30 in 181 4, and subse- 
quently bought the whole block of land on Delaware Street, 
extending from Chippewa to Tupper Street, bounded westerly 
upon the State Reservation line, or the south line of the South 
Village of Black Rock, making in the aggregate about twenty-five 
acres. He enclosed a considerable portion of it as a park with 
a high picket fence, within which he had a fish pond, and kei>t 
water fowl, deer, and other wild animals. A porter's lodL;e 
guarded the front gate on Delaware Street. The splendid elms 
in front of the property were originally planted by him. He 
afterwards bought inner lots Nos. 95 and 96, also inner lots Nos. 
100 and loi. Becoming associated with Judge Samuel Wilke- 
son in general business, they bought a great number of village 
lots together in different parts of the city. 

Dr. Johnson's business qualificat-ions were. of the first order, 
and after giving up his profession he engaged actively in business 
in which he was very successful and accumulated a large fortune. 


He was esteemed one of the wealthiest men in the city. In all 
his public duties he devoted himself with untiring industry and 
fidelity, and to the universal satisfaction of his fellow-citizens. 
But like most of our active business men of that day his affairs 
were not exempt from the ordinary vicissitudes of the financial 
revolutions of the time, and his ample fortune was swept away 
and he was driven to seek support for himself and family in a 
distant State, by working some iron mines, which, in the course 
of business, had come into his possession. 

I have jotted down a couple of well-known incidents con- 
nected with Dr. Johnson, which I think, will survive as longas does 
his memory. At the time when the matter of opening and la\ing 
out Lloyd Street was before the Council, the Doctor was the 
owner of a piece of property upon the canal, which would be 
taken for the street if a certain resolution should be passed. In 
those days, I am advised, the City Charter provided that no 
property could be taken by the city for the purpose of opening a 
street, if upon the property there was a building of the value of 
fifteen hundred dollars or upwards. About the time the lot I 
have referred to was to be taken, in order to avail himself of this 
clause of the Charter, Dr. Johnson employed ail the men he 
could find and hastily erected a brick building upon the premises. 
The night prior to the day upon which the Council were to pass 
upon the question of opening the street, the walls of the structure 
were up ready for the roof, and the Doctor was congratulating 
himself upon the manner in which he had outwitted the city 
fathers. Upon the night in question a stilT Buflalo zephyr arose 
and the Doctor in the morning, to his chagrin, found the build- 
ing level with the ground. The Council, not slow to avail 
themselves of this fortuitous circumstance, on the following day, 
to the no slight disgust of Dr. Johnson, passed their resolution 
opening the street through the property. Many a hearty laugh 
was had thereafter at the Doctor's expense. 

At another time and during his term'of office as Mayor, and 
also during the time he was in \.\\g exchange and banking busi- 
ness, in partnership with Phrlander Hodge and his nephew 
Mortimer F. Johnson, a little incident occurred showing not 
onlv his keen sense of humor but his determination to have the 


city Jaws obeyed under his administration by all, whether his 
intimate friends or entire strangers. The two youngest members 
of the firm, Hodge and M. F. Johnson, had purchased a trotting 
horse, and riding out one afternoon, in comingdown Main Street, 
for the purpose of showing to Dr. Johnson the metal of their 
'animal, they passed the banking office at a much greater rate of 
speed than under the city ordinances was permitted. After 
finishing their ride the two gentlemen returned to the office 
praising the fine qualities of the horse. They had scarcely 
seated themselves at their desks when a constable appeared and 
summoned them both before the magistrate for violating the 
ordinances regulating fast driving, on account of which violation, 
at the suggestion of the presiding officer, both gentlemen dona- 
ted to the city the sum of ten dollars. It subsequently trans- 
pired that the complaining witness in the case was Dr. Johnson, 
the senior member of the firm. 

In January, 1822, an agent of an Eastern company came to 
the village to select a place to build a steamer and make a con- 
tract for the work. He was directed to build at Buffalo unless 
he should be satisfied that its harbor was not available. He 
went to Black Rock first and its people soon satisfied him that 
the Buffalo harbor was useless, laying special stress on the asser- 
tion that it would remain filled with ice after the lake was clear 
in the spring. The agent therefore made arrangements to build 
at Black Rock and came to Buffalo to have the papers drawn. 
The public s])irit of Dr. Johnson and his constant solicitude for 
the interests of the village are shown by the active part he took in 
this competition between the two villages. 

The Buftalonians heard what was going on and an excited 
crowd gathered around the hotel where the agent was staying. 
To have it decided that the harbor was not fit to build a steam- 
boat in might be ruinous. It was rumored that the agent was 
about to return Ea; t and no time was to be lost. Dr. Johnson • 
and Judge Wilkeson were deputed to wait upon him. Their 
only instructions were to get the -steamboat. "Make any 
arrangements you think necessary,"' said thtf citizens, ''and ue 
will stand by you." 

The conmnttee entered tlie aiient's room, introduced them- 


selves and asked why he did not intend to build at Buffalo as his 
principals expected. That gentleman gave the reason which had 
prompted his action, naming especially .the danger that the 
steamer would be detained by ice. 

Either Dr. Johnson or Judge Wilkeson promptly replied: 
*< We will furnish timber at a quarter less than Black Rock prices, 
and give a judgment bond with ample security providing for the 
payment of $150 for every day the boat shall be detained in the 
creek on account of the ice beyond the ist of May." 

The offer was at once accepted, the necessary arrangements 
were made, a contractor was found for the timber, and the bond 
agreed upon was signed by nearly every responsible citizen. The 
building of the vessel soon began and went steadily forward. As 
spring approached the citizens looked for a freshet to clear out 
the loose sand, gravel, etc., which still remained in the harbor. 
A freshet did come, but as there was a large bank of ice at the 
mouth of the creek the high water carried an immense amount of 
sediment upon it, making a formidable dam. Several expedients 
were tried for removing it but without avail. Meanwhile the ist 
of May was approaching and it was evident that extraordinary 
exertions must be made or the citizens would be saddled with a 
bill for damages on their bond, which at that time would have 
been enormous. A subscription of $1,361 was raised — a little in 
cash, the rest in goods or labor. Dr. Johnson subscribed the 
largest sum — $100 — ''in goods at cash prices." The other 
amounts ranged from $100 down to $2. One man subscribed 
**a certain brown cow with a white head," to be appraised by 
the harbor commissioners. 

By the energetic use of the aid this provided, a channel was 
cut through by the ist of May. On that day, although the chan- 
nel was dangerous, the steamer passed safely through, and the 
bond was cancelled. 

During the time that Dr. Johnson was Mayor, what was* in 
those days not an unusual occurrence among the Irish, a riot, 
occurred in the district boundedby the canal, Main and Com- 
mercial streets. The Mayor, hearing of the fracas, drove with 
all speed to the scene of disturbance. Alighting from his chaise, 
brandishing his cane in all directions, he pressed into the midst 


of the rabble, and as an eye-witness has said, " seemed by the 
very force of his presence to quickly restore order." All who 
knew or saw him at times like these, when public interests were 
at stake, could not but feel that his was a positive character, and 
although at all times gentlemanly, his fire and energy would at 
times break forth, and his imposing appearance and iron will 
would make him master over occasions piled high with diffi- 

At another time, when the city was inadequately supplied 
with fire engines, Dr. Johnson as Mayor issued his manifesto 
that no fireworks or firearms should be used upon the Fourth of 
July. A number of young men of the city, some of whom are 
now grey-bearded gentlemen of this Society, deeming the above 
order altogether too arbitrary and tyrannical and urged on by feel- 
ings of patriotism, or, more likely, love of fun, determined in 
spite of the Mayor's proclamation properly to celebrate the day. 
The Mayor hearing of their plan, provided with horse, chaise, 
whip, cane and dog, stationed himself on Main Street near 
Niagara ready to enforce obedience to the laws. Soon the street 
near where the Mansion House now stands seemed all ablaze with 
the old-fashioned fire balls. The Mayor was soon on the spot, 
but not a boy could be seen. Simultaneously another display 
was started in front of the old Eagle Tavern, near Court Street. 
Hither the Doctor quickly drove, but all was quiet and not a 
boy in sight. Then near the Mansion House the display was 
renewed. Thither he drove in all haste, but as before the 
patriotic youths were invisible. Then again the balls were flying 
in front of the Eagle Tavern. How long the joke was continued, 
or how long the chief city official kept driving between the two 
points does not appear, but we are told that for about an hour 
he was constantly violating the ordinance regulating the rate of 
speed while on Main Street. 

One of our old residents says : " I became acquainted with 
Dr. Johnson as early as 1812. He established his office in the 
village and while he was yet a bachelor.^ Upon one occasion he 
was called upon by one of his Eastern friend^ and while having 
a social chat with him the Doctor sent out for a bottle of whis- 
key with which to entertain his friend. The messenger soon 


came back without the whiskey. The money not having accom- 
panied the bottle, the store-keeper refused to trust the young 
Doctor as he doubted his responsibility. From this time for- 
ward he was determined to establish a credit and show the peo- 
ple that Ebenezer Johnson's credit was good not only for one 
quart of whiskey but for whatever else he wished to buy. He 
persevered in his practice, was prudent in his expenditures and 
was so successful that he soon became one of the prominent men 
of the village." 

The Doctor, in after years, frequently said that the above 
occurrence so mortified him, that it ever afterwards was a power- 
ful incentive co hard, laborious study, and had much to do in 
making him a persevering, energetic business man. 

Shortly after his marriage he became the owner of a large 
frame dwelling house on Main Street, near where the North 
Church now stands. His premises were large and extended back 
to Pearl Street. His fruit and vegetable garden was quite ex- 
tensive. In front of his house was a large red cedar h itching- 
post, which remained for a long time a relic in the family by 
reason of its having several bullet holes through it, made when 
the village was burned on the 30th of December, 18 13. 

At one time he was enclosing, with a high, tight board fence 
a few acres of land where the stone cottage now stands, intend- 
ing to let the spot for a public garden. The boards were i)ur- 
chased from countrymen as they passed the house on their way 
to the market down town. In this connection an acquaintance 
ofhissa\s: " I was in at a b()ok-aucti(;n one e\ening on the 
ea>t side of Main Street just above the Mansion House, as the 
auctioneer was holding. u[) a book and crying, 'How much for 
the life of Dr. Johnson?' Several bids were made, the highest 
of which was seventy-five cents. Just then the door opened and 
in walked a tall, stout, clumsy back-woodsman with his ox-wj\ip 
in his hand. ^ 

"' Seventy-five cents.' cried the auctioneer, 'who will bid 
more for the life of Dr. Johnson ? ' ' 

**' One dollar : ' shouted the countrxman. 'I sold him a 
load of boar<ls todav and I want to read his life.' " 


Now I feel constrained to turn aside for a little time, from 
my narration to perform a most unwelcome task. Were it not 
for the assurance I have that the august members of this Society 
are lovers of historical fact and truth rather than of exciting 
scenes and thrilling stories, I should hold my peace and leave 
unsaid that which none but the devotees of Clio would willingly 
hear. There are several things to which the average Buffalo- 
nian clings as tenaciously as did Ephraim to his idols. He 
knows that Delaware Avenue is finer than Euclid Avenue. He 
loves his Park, the *' most beautiful in the world," and as he 
drives the innocent stranger from New York along its well-kept 
roads, he loves to tell him as he points to Dr. Lord's house,* 
how the minister who used to live there was once a young law- 
yer ; ran away, yea, eloped with her who became his wife ; yes 
and upon the young woman's writing-table, after her departure, 
the enraged father found only these words: ''The Lord gave 
and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the 

Never have I heard my late lamented uncle deny this story, 
for he was not one to snatch such a treasure from the hands of 
the multitude, unless it were absolutely necessary. He always 
smiled when it was told in his presence, even when, as some- 
times happened,^ he was represented as standing at midnight 
under Miss Johnson's window arrayed in the black hat and long 
sweeping feather of the Italian bandit, while upon his boots were 
heavy spurs and against his side hung a jeweled sword, the gift 
of Captain Kidd — according to some — purchased, so said others 
— with money which Mr. Lord and some young legal friends 
had collected at a service in Canada when upon a spree they 
had preached and passed the plate. So attired he was made to 
sing to the accompaniment of his guitar, '' Oh fly with me, my 
love! " whereupon the window is raised and Miss Johnson, in 
"black velvet and pearls" comes hand over hand down a 
knotted rope at least a hundred feet long. A carriage with four 
pure white Arabian steeds awaits them, and together they fly to 
his villa on ''Lake Erie's distant shxue." • 

*This was .1 picturesquely-ijableti fianie house on Delaware .\venue opposite 
F'orest Lawn, ami liidcicn aiiiontr trees. In the sprini,' of 1S04 ll>e oKl house was 
demolished, the trees cut down and a street opened through what were once ample 
KTOunds. Dr. Lord died Jan. 21, 1S77. — Kn. 


Such a story, giving full liberty to the imaginative powers of 
all, is a priceless inheritance for any people, so that I can hope 
for nothing more sympathetic than forbearance, as I narrate the 
unembellished facts. 

Dr. Johnson wished his daughter to marry a young man of 
wealth and position in the then village of Buffalo, but his 
daughter, with a strange obstinacy which has sometimes been 
discovered in the sex, said she wouldn't, for she knew there was 
a young lawyer, John C. Lord, by name, who cared a good deal 
for her, and she thought a great deal more of him than she did 
of the rich young man. Dr. Johnson gave a large party to 
which all who were considered anybody in the village were 
invited. Mr. Lord, who was very well known as a rising \ oung 
man, received an invitation. This brought about a climax. 
One afternoon soon after as Miss Johnson sat upon the i)orch 
with her mother, a boy handed her a note which read about as 
follows : 

" Will you marry me, and will you marry me at seven o'clock 
tonight? " 

The mother looked suspicious, but Miss Johnson, in the mo>t 
unconcerned way imaginable, said to the boy: ''Oh — you mav 
say — Yes. ' ' 

Precisely as the clocks were striking seven Miss Johnson 
quietly walked out to the gate where she met Mr. Lord with his 
carriage. Now^ comes the strangest part of this remarkable 
elopement. The carriage was driven by a gentleman, a friend 
of the family, who is still living in our city, while two of the 
most respected citizens of the village accompanied the young 
couple to the minister's, where they were made husband and 
wife. Thence they were driven to the house of a friend where a 
large company had gathered to offer their congratulations. In 
fact, there were more form and dignity about the runaway match 
than any we have happened to hear of. 

When Dr. Johnson was told the news late in the evening he 
was not overjoyed, neither did hejneak the furniture nor tear his 
hair in vexation. He took it very 'quietly as did also Mrs. 
Johnson, who soon called upon her daughter and invited her to 
come home, but as the invitation was made so as to exclude her 


husband, we are right when we imagine that it was not accepted. 
So everything continued for a time. The final reconciliation 
came about in a very unromantic way. 

Dr. Johnson was very fond of fishing. So was Mr. Lord, or at 
least he always thought he was, when the father of Miss Johnson 
gave the invitation. The Doctor started out on a fishing excursion 
early one morning. Just a little way ahead of him, going to his 
law office, was an early bird, that sure enough was just about to 
catch a very large worm. It was Mr. Lord. The Doctor re- 
membered the pleasant excursions they had had together. He 
wanted a companion. He began to relent, and the next moment 
the young lawyer heard a voice crying out, "■ Lord — don't you 
want to go a-fishing?" 

Less poetical surely, than the conventional " Bless you, my 
children ! " of the irate father who has^at last forgiven the man 
who ran away with his daughter ; but it meant the same thing, 
and we need scarcely add '' they all lived happy ever after- 
wards. ' ' 

For many years Dr. Johnson was one of the leading and 
most influential citizens of Buffalo. His name was connected 
with every enterprise of importance, and his wise counsels and 
good judgment in all emergencies contributed in a great degree 
to the success of those projects which developed the resources 
and business of our city. In his person were united in a rare 
degree those characteristics of mental and physical energy, 
which, in a larger sphere of action, would have gained the ad- 
miration of a nation. He was a man of imposing personal 
appearance, grave and dignified in demeanor, but alert and reso- 
lute in action and possessing that indomitable will, which allied 
to mental power, achieves success in the walks of life. 

These traits of character were particularly manifested in the 
discharge of the duties of the office of Mayor in 1S32. The sum- 
mer of that year witnessed the advent of that unknown and 
dreadful scourge — the Asiatic cholera. Dr. Johnson was 
appointed Mayor in June, upon the organization of Buffiilo as a 
city, and the first and momentous matter to which his attention 
was directed as the chief magistrate, was the threatened visita- 
tion of the pestilence. It had already developed at Quebec, 


and other cities upon the St. Lawrence, and its progress was cer- 
tain along the water courses and highways of travel of our coun- 
try. Medical science was baffled as to any proper mode of re- 
sisting or even palliating its terrible effects ; business was 
paralyzed, society depressed and the community appalled as the 
shadow of the mysterious scourge began to fall. But Dr. John- 
son at once devoted himself to the work of preparing for the 
dreadful emergency. The city was distracted and an organized 
system of purification and cleansing undertaken and carried out, 
which beyond all doubt, prevented the pestilence from assuming 
larger proportions. And when it did come it was met bravely 
and cheerfully by the Mayor and Board of Health, whose labors 
were untiring and whose counsels contributed to allaying popu- 
lar apprehension. His devoted labors and untiring energy 
in the emergency earned for Dr. Johnson the respect and admira- 
tion of all our citizens and at the conclusion of his term of 
ofifice, the Council ordered his full-length portrait to be painted, 
which happily portrayed his commanding presence. This pic- 
ture, by Jackson, was destroyed by the conflagration of the city 
buildings a few years since, when several other portraits were 
lost of some of our most venerable citizens. 

An anecdote has been told in connection with the building 
of the cottage on Delaware Street, which will bear relation. In 
those early days it was customary at the close of every term of 
court, when regular business was finished, for the presiding 
judge to call the bar to order for the purpose of allowing a free 
discussion of the trials and incidents of the term, and a general 
interchange of opinion upon all subjects. Upon these occasions 
the lawyers indulged in sallies of wit and humor, and in remarks 
upon current matter's which produced much merriment and 
solaced the graver cares of bench and bar. At one of these 
meetings convened about the time of the erection of the cottage, 
when it stood a huge and conspicuous pile of stone amid the 
open fields of Delaware Street, that prince of wags, Counsellor 
John Root was dilating at length \\\ his humorous manner upon 
the growing importance of Buffalo. He finally spoke in a sub- 
dued and melancholy tone of the transitory nature of all earthly 
glories and pictured its situation, when, after many centuries had 


elapsed, the future antiquarian should visit the ruins of our city 
as we now do the ruins of Thebes or Nineveh or Persepolis. As 
he wandered along our docks he would say "■ Here were the 
wharves where the commerce of the world once centered, now 
desolate forever." And coming to the old market-place he 
would exclaim, "and here where all is silence, the people 
gathered to exchange and buy and sell." He would soon stop 
at the ruins of the Court House, and sorrowfully remark, '-Here 
was the Temple of Justice, the forum where law was adminis- 
tered to a people who vainly thought their institutions immortal." 
And then proceeding in his search for the remains of an antique 
age, he would notice the ruins of churches and edifices unpeo- 
pled for many an age; and finally extending his researches and 
explorations to the open plains of Delaware Street, he would 
come upon an immense pile of stone where Dr. Johnson's cot- 
tage stands, and say, *'And here, beyond all doubt, was the 
stone-quarry where the people quarried all their building-stone. " 

Dr. Johnson was twice married ; his first wife was Sally M. 
Johnson. They were married January 25, 181 1, at Cherry Val- 
ley, by Dr. Joseph White. Of this union three children were 
born — William, Sally Maria, afterwards Mrs. Dr. Ingl.ehart, of 
Cleveland, Ohio, and Mary E., wife of the late Dr. Lord, of 
Buffalo, the latter being the only one now surviving. "^ December 
7, 1835, Dr. Johnson and Lucy E. Lord were married at 
Millersville, Madison County, N. Y., by Rev. John Lord, father 
of the late John C. Lord, of this city. The only children now 
living of this marriage are Mrs. Horace Utley and Herbert 

Dr. Ebenezer Johnson will long be remembered by our older 
citizens as one of the pioneers of Western New York, to whose 
industry, ability, energy, public spirit and i)erseverance Buffalo 
is largely indebted. He died at Tellico Plains, East Tennes.see, 
of dropsy on the chest on the 23d day of Se})tember, 1849, at 
the age of 62 years. 

*Mrs. Lord died May 26, 1S85.— Ed. - ' 

" Urbem condiditr 
" He built the city by building its harborT 




The persecutions of the Presbyterians of Scotland during the 
dynasty of the Stuarts form a familiar page of history. Poetry 
and romance have combined to popularize the theme and have 
kept the monuments of the persecuted Covenanters fair and freshly 
engraven, performing in another way the office that Walter Scott 
assigns to Old Mortality. 

During all these persecutions, protracted with more or less 
severity, through the reigns of three British monarchs, there was 
a constant emigration of the non-conforming Presbyterians 
across the channel that separates Scotland from Ireland. 

Strange to say, their persecutions ceased as they crossed the 
narrow .sea, and the harassed Covenanters found peace and reli- 
gious freedom in Ireland, thougli under the same government. 
The secret of this forbearance is perhaps discoverable in the 
fact that the center and south of Ireland were inhabited by 
Romish non-Conformists wiih whom all the Stuarts sympathized, 
and it was i)robably deemed inexj^edient to execute with vigor 
the statutes against schism, the enforcement of which was deso- 
lating Scotland. " • 

The emigration to Ireland seems to ha\e attracted little 
attention ; there the Scotch colonies ^rew and flourished — a 


peculiar community — reclaiming the wastes, subduing the stub- 
born soil and building towns and cities on the coast, worship- 
ing God after the Presbyterian model, and singing the grand old 
psalms of the Scottish Church with none to molest them or 
make them afraid. 

They prospered until their exodus was almost forgotten, until 
their children held Ireland dear as their native land. Like all 
prosperous communities circumscribed by the sea, they soon 
overflowed and a second emigration commenced to the British 
Colonies of North America. 

When the war of the xA.merican Revolution broke out the 
Scotch-Irish were found everywhere on the side of liberty. 

The Mecklenberg, N. C, convention and bill of riglits — the 
precursor and perhaps the model of our Declaration of Inde- 
pendence — had a Scotch-Irish origin. 

The peculiarities of the Covenanters, somewhat harsh and 
stern, were modified by both emigrations. The exodus from 
Scotland to Ireland and from Ireland to North America, gave 
them an elasticity, a breadth of thought, an adaptedness to new' 
political conditions and a gift of leadership wanting to their 
ancestors. Like the transfer of a hardy northern plant to a more 
genial clime, where a before unknown growth and fruitage fol- 
low, was the exodus of the Scotch Presbyterians — first to Ireland 
and next to North America. Many of them ranked among the 
foremost men of the Republic, and without tlie *' Blarney Stone " 
of " Plymouth Rock," they moulded, in proportion to their 
numbers, the destinies of the nation, in a degree not inferior to 
that of the Puritans who settled New England. Among our 
patriots, statesmen and orators, they hold a distinguished place ; 
many of them have been eminent jurists. At least two Presi- 
dents were of North-of-Ireland descent, and, generally, it may 
be said that no more stable, intelligent and moral population 
can be found -n the United States than the descendants of tfie 
Scotch-Irish Presbyterian colonists. 

Of this noble stock was the subject of our present memoir, 
the late Samuel Wilkeson, who once told me that his first remem- 
brance of public worship was a Presbyterian service in the then 
wilderness of Western Pennsylvania, the congregation sitting cui 
logs, while the preacher's pul|)it was a stump. 


Western Pennsylvania was largely settled by Scotch-Irish, 
and two-thirds of the business signs of the city of Pittsburg to- 
day indicate the Scottish origin of the population. They con- 
stituted and now constitute a majority of the people of that large 
section, where, immediately after the Revolution, raged the so- 
called Whiskey Insurrection, which gave Washington so much 
anxiety and led to the first call of United States troops to sustain 
the Government against open revolt. This is the only dark spot 
upon the escutcheon of our Scotch-Irish population, and it grew 
out of a question of taxation. They were and are a sober and 
religious people, and the fact oi their taking up arms against the 
Government which they had so recently helped to establish, 
seems at first view altogether unaccountable. But it must be 
remembered that the chief export of Western Pe]ms\ Ivania at 
that time was whiskey; grain would not bear exportation in any 
other shape, and that chief staple was the product of its distilla- 
tion. Besides, they were themselves accustomed to the moderate 
use of the article — I say moderate, for they deemed drunkenness 
a sin, though it was before the temperance reformation — and a 
Scotchman having prescribed for himself what he deemed a safe 
and reasonable allowance^ was not likely to exceed it. '' Old 
Monongahela " was known over the continent as the best liquor 
of the kind in the world, and VW^stern Pennsylvania found great 
profit in its fame. The honesty of the population prevented its 
being either Avatered or drugged, and age gave it a flavor uni- 
versally esteemed. To illustrate its fame I may be allowed to 
relate an anecdote of the early days of Buffalo. 

^lajor Miller, the ancestor of many residents of this city, 
kept a public house between Buffalo and Batavia at which the 
witty Counsellor Root was a habitual caller on his frequent 
journeys to Batavia to attend court. On one sucli occasion. 
Major Miller informed the Counsellor that he had just tapped a 
barrel of extra OM Monongahela, such as the said Counsellor 
had never before tasted. He, b\- no means reluctant to try so 
wonderful an article, after tasting it he'ld^he glass to his ear. 

" Mr. Root," said the astonished Major, '^' why do you put 
the glass to your ear ? " 



'' Major," replied the Counsellor, "do you call this Old 
Monongahela? lean hear the sound of the flails in it tiiat 
thrashed out the rye." 

The large tax upon whiskey, their chief article of commerce, 
the Western Pennsylvanians esteemed unjust and unconstitu- 
tional, and having made up their minds to resist it, with charac- 
teristic courage — not to say obstinacy — put themselves in a 
state of armed revolt. I need not say how a bloody arbitrament 
was avoided by the wisdom of Washington and the sober second 
thought of a sagacious and God-fearing population. 

Whether the ancestors of Judge Wilkeson were concerned in 
the Whiskey Insurrection I can not say, but if the fathers were 
like the son, and had made up their minds that the tax was un- 
just, they were men to stand to that opinion with arms in hand. 
Perhaps this Presbyterian revolt may find a counterpart in Shay's 
Rebellion in Massachusetts — a Puritan outbreak. 

Among the names of the early settlers of this city, none is 
more prominent than that of Samuel Wilkeson. No man in that 
band of hardy pioneers who laid the foundations of Buffalo, was 
more distinguished for great ;ability and indomitable energy. 
than the subject of this paper. His individuality, both physical 
and mental, was perhaps more marked than that of an v other of our 
older citizens. Judge Wilkeson had a commanding present e ; 
he was tall, erect and dignified in deportment, with a counte- 
nance indicating his characteristic firmness and energy. He was 
said to resemble General Jackson, who was of the same Scotch- 
Irish origin. He was apparently a stern man, yet this impres- 
sion was soon lost, when his wonderfiil conversational powers 
were called into play. . 

He had a certain grim humor. One of the first anecdotes I 
heard of him after coming to reside in Buffalo was to the effect 
that, at a time when money was scarce, certain accounts being 
presented to him in his office in the Kremlin Block, the paymt*nt 
of which was rather importunately pressed, he looked at the bills 
and then at the creditors, and turninj^ to one of his sons, said in 
a peremptory tone : ' • 

'' Eli, go sell a loty 


On another 'occasion, in the early navigation by steam on 
Lake Erie, he was at the head of the dinner-table — I think of 
the old steamboat Superior on her passage to Detroit — and ob- 
serving the unmannerly rush and clamor of a company of young 
men at the lower end of the table, he rose with great gravity, 
and with stentorian voice exclaimed : 

** Ladies and gentlemen, have the kindness to wait until 
these famished young men lower down are sufficiently helped ! " 

For the following details of the early^life of Judge Wilkeson, 
I am indebted to a member of his family. 

He was born at Carlisle in Pennsylvania, June i, 1781. He 
was the son of John Wilkeson, who was of Scotch-Irish descent, 
and who emigrated from near Londonderry, in the north of 
Ireland, to the banks of the Brandywine, in the State of Dela- 
ware, previous to the breaking out of the War of the Revolution. 
John Wilkeson served throughout that war as an officer in the 
army, and at its close removed from Carlisle,) Pennsylvania, 
where he had sought a refuge for his wife and children, to West 
Pennsylvania. There he settled in the wilderness and cleared a 
farm, granted to him for his military services, in Washington 
County, near Pittsburg. 

The subject of this notice was then three years old when 
taken across the mountains, and passed his youth in the midst of 
the hardships incident to settlements on the frontiers. His 
early education was confined to a few months' winter schooling, 
often interrupted by the troubles of that time. 

While yet a young man, he married the daughter of Capt. 
William Oram, a retired Revolutionary officer, of the same 
descent, and in 1802 removed to what is now the county of 
Mahoning, in Ohio, near Youngstown. That great Common- 
wealth was then yet a territory, and there with his axe he cut 
down the forest and opened a farm and built a grist mill, the 
first in the vicinity. 

In 1 810 he removed to Portland, now Barcelona, near West- 
field, New York, and in connection Avith parties in Pittsburg, 
engaged in shipping Onondaga salr to fhe Ohio valley. This 
salt was carried across the portage from Lake Erie to the Chau- 
tauque Lake, after its long and tedious course from the salt 


springs of New York to Oswego, then through Lake Ontario to 
Lewiston, and across the Niagara portage to Schlosser, and then 
by the river to Black Rock, and by the lake to Portland. When 
it reached Chautauque Lake the salt was taken on boats which 
descended the streams to the Ohio River. The competition ot 
the Kanawha salt works destroyed this trade, and in 1813, in a 
keel-boat of his own construction, he set out for Detroit to dis- 
pose of his remaining stock of salt. Stress of weather drove him 
into Grand River, Ohio, and while there he undertook the con- 
struction of a large number of lx)ats, which were urgently re- 
quired for the transportation of the army of General Harrison 
into Canada. The boats were built in a wonderfully short time, 
when the army crossed tl"ie lake and won the battle of the 
Thames. ' 

Judge Wilkeson came to Buffalo in the spring of 1814 to re- 
side. He had prepared a ready-made house, which he brought 
with him in an open boat, and it was erected on Main Street, on 
the Kremlin triangle, near Niagara Street. Twice, before he be- 
came a resident of liuffalo, he had come as a soldier to defend 
the town, and he was here when it was burned; at which time 
the captain of his company of volunteers was killed. On one 
occasion he stood beside the late Judge Walden when both were 
firing at a British force which had crossed the river at Black 

He had become familiar with iron smelting in Ohio, in his 
youth, having lived near the fust blast furnace, at Poland, Ohio, 
which was built in that State. Eaton's furnace used nnu h of the 
timber which he cut from his tarm aiid made into charcoal for 
its use. Thus he came to have a love for iron-making and iron- 
working, which led hini to enter into the business at an early day. 
both in this city and in Ohio, inducing his sons to engage in the 
same business. He was a vessel owner immediately after the 
war, ard as soon as the canal was tlnished, entered into com- 

My first personal knowledge 'of. Judge Wilkeson was in the 
year 1S25, when the Erie Canal was cofnpleted. He had been 
largely engaged in business with the late l^benezer Johnson, at"tcr- 
wards the first Mayor of this city. Their i)lace of business was 


originally in the Kremlin Block, and Henry H. Sizer was their 
principal clerk.* Johnson & Wilkeson did a general busines-, 
selling all sorts of goods, besides being engaged in a shipping 
and forwarding business. 

Townsend & Coit, Pratt & Allen, Johnson cV Wilkeson, 
Hart & Lay, T. & M. Weed, and John Scott were among the 
leading business men of that time. The office of Love & Tracy, 
(where I was a law student), was near the place of business of 
Johnson & Wilkeson, who soon, however, left the Kremlin and 
confined their business to the dock. Not long afterward the 
firm was dissolved and Dr. Johnson went into the banking busi- 

At the celebration of the completion of the Erie Canal, to 
Judge Wilkeson was assigned the chief place in the festivities of 
the occasion. He officiated in the commingling of the brine of 
the Atlantic with the virgin waters of Erie and her sister seas. 
He was foremost among the representatives of Buffalo in the first 
boat that went through to the Hudson, while General Porter and 
the delegation of Black Rock, then a rival village, went neck 
and neck in the same voyage to the Capital of the State. The 
reason of this prominence of Judge Wilkeson on this occasion 
may be«learned from a brief history of the early incidents con- 
nected with the Buffalo harbor which appeared many years since 
in the Conwiercial Advertiser o{ this city, from the pen of Judge 
Wilkeson : 

But a harbor we were resolved to have. Apphcation was accordingly 
made to the Legislature for a survey of the creek, and an act was passed on the 
loth of April, iSiS, authorizing the survey and directing the Supervisors of 
the County of Niagara to pay $3 a day to the surveyor, and to assess the amount 
upon the County. 

The survey was made by the present lion. William Peacock during the 
summer of that year, gratuitously. Then came the important question, where 
to get the money to build the harbor? 

At that day no one thought of looking to Congress for appropriations, and. 
there was no encouragement to apply to the Legislature of the State. The 
citizens could not raise the means, however willing ihey might have l)een. A 
public meeting was called and an agentjthe Hon. Charles Townsend) was 
appointed to proceed to Albany and obtain a loan. Jonas Harrison, Ebenezer 

♦Samuel A. Bigelow was also one of their clerks. See the paper by .■Mhert Bige- 
low ill this volume.— Kn. 


Walden, Heman B.Potter, J. G. Camp, Oliver Forward, Albert H. Tracy, 
Ebenezer Johnson, Ebenezer F. Norton and Charles Townsend were the appli- 
cants. Judge Townsend, after a protracted effort, succeeded, and an act was 
pa«sed April 17, 1819, authorizing a loan to the above persons and their asso- 
ciates, of 512,000 for twelve years, to be secured on bond and mortgage, and 
applied to the construction of a harbor, which the State had reserved a right to 
take when completed, and to cancel the securities. 

The year 1819 was one of general financial embarrassment, and nowhere 
was the pressure or want of money more sensibly felt thaa in the lake coun- 
try. It had no market and its produce was of little value. Some of the asso- 
ciates became embarrassed and others discouraged. The summer passed 
away, and finally all refused to execute the required securities except Judge 
Townsend and Judge Forward. 

Thus matters stood in December, 1819. Unless the condition of the loan 
should be complied with the appropriation would be lost, and another might 
not easily be obtained, for the project of a harbor at Black Rock, and the ter- 
mination of the canal at that place, was advocated by influential men, and the 
practicability of making a harbor at the mouth of Buffalo Creek, was seriously 

At this crisis Judge Wilkeson, with Messrs. Townsend and Forward, 
agreed to make the necessary securities. This was perfected during the win- 
ter of 1820. 

Speaking of the failure of the superintendent first appointed, 
who was removed — 

no one could be found experienced in managing men who would undertake the 
superintendence. Mr. Townsend was an invalid and consequently unable to 
perform the duty. Mr. Forward was wanting in the practical experience that 
was necessary. Mr. Wilkeson had never seen a harbor, and was engaged in 
business that required his unremitting attention. But, rather than the effort 
should be abandoned, he finally consented to undertake the superintendence, 
and proceeded immediately to mark out a spot for the erection of a shanty on 
the beach between the creek and the lake, hired a few laborers, and gave the 
necessary orders for lumber, cooking utensils and provisions. The boarding 
house and sleeping room were completed that same day. Neither clerk nor 
other assistant, not even a carpenter to lay out the work, was employed for the 
first two months to aid him in the work, who, besides directing all the labor, 
making contracts, receiving materials, etc., labored in the water with the men, 
as much exposed as themselves, and conformed to the rules prescribe»I to 
them, of commencing work at dayligiit and continuing until dark, allowing half 
an hour for breakfast and an hour for dinner. Beside the labors of the day he 
was often detained until late at night waitifig thg arrival of boats, to measure 
their loads of stone and to see them delivered in the pier, as without thi> 
vigilance, some of the boatmen would unload their stone into the lake, which 
was easier than to deposit it in the pier. 


After recording the perils of the work, its partial destruction 
at various times, and the constancy and courage with which their 
repeated disasters were at last overcome, he says : 

Thus was completed the tirst work of the kind ever constructed on the 
Lakes. It had occupied two hundred and twenty-one working days in build- 
ing — the laborers always rested on the Sabbath— and it extended into the lake 
about eighty rods, to twelve feet of water. It was begun, carried on and 
completed principally by three private individuals, some of whom mortgaged 
their whole real estate to raise the means for making an improvement in 
which they had but a common interest. And now, althougli but twenty years 
have elapsed, these sacrifices and efforts and even the fact that such a work 
ever existed, are unknown to most of the citizens of Buffalo, who have only 
seen the magnificent stone pier erected at a cost of over 5200,000. But should 
the names of those who projected and constructed the first pier be remem- 
bered, for a few years, yet the subordinate actors, by whose faithful labors the 
drudgery of this work was accomplished, must remain unknown even to those 
who enjoy the immediate fruits of their labor in wealth and luxury'. 

We have seen that Judge Wilkeson became a resident of this 
city about the close of the War of 181 2, when it was but an in- 
considerable frontier village, having been engaged in the partial 
defence of Buffalo, which was attempted at the time the town 
was invaded and destroyed by the British. To no man, living 
or dead, is Buffalo so much indebted for its rapid growth and 
present position as the Queen City of the great inland seas of the 
North. Indeed it may be questioned whether this city would 
have been anything more than a mere dependency upon a 
neighboring village, had the footsteps of Judge Wilkeson been 
directed to another quarter. Although a deep interest was felt 
by all the citizens here to secure the advantages of the natural 
position of Buffalo, though a law was obtained in 1S18 authoriz- 
ing a survey of a harbor and' a loan in 1S19 of $12,000 to build 
it, yet without the courage and energy of Samuel Wilkeson with 
his peculiar qualifications, without his devoted, personal super- 
intendence of the work which made Buffalo the terminus of the 
Erie Canal, the project to human view must have been aban- 

No disparagement is intended- of flie eljorts and sacritices 
made by others. Among the dead are Charles Townsend and 
Oliver Forward, who signed with him that bond which pledged 


their private fortunes to the repayment of the hazardous loan 
which laid the corner-stone of this growing city. There were 
many others who, to the extent of their means and influence, 
aided in this great work. But where was the man that could 
make a harbor with $12,000? Where the man that would baftlc 
the winds and shut up the waves in the necessary bounds and stay 
the devastating sweep of the fearful storms which annually career 
over the lakes, with this insignificant sum — a work which subse- 
quently cost the General Government $200,000 ? Who else had 
the physical courage to labor with his men shoulder deei) in tb,e 
water, from sunrise to sunset? Who here had the same control 
over others, or could induce a gang of laborers to endure the 
exhausting toils of an undertaking, the recorded perils of which 
are really startling. Without a leader possessing the combined 
physical and mental energy of Judge Wilkeson, without a man 
of untiring energy and courage to devote his whole powers of 
body and soul to the enterprise, it must have failed. If there be 
a citizen among that early band of enterprising men who laid the 
foundations of Buffalo, who was pre-eminent among others in his 
efforts, who deserves above all to be remembered, and to have 
his name indissolubly connected with the history of the city of 
his adoption by a record of his life, or by monumental honors, 
that one is Samuel Wilkeson. Who has forgotten the conriict 
he sustained against one of the strongest men in the State in be- 
half of Buffalo ? Who has not heard of the war between rival 
towns, a war of conflicting interests, in which Judge Wilkeson 
was victor against principalities and powers? 

But the detail of these things, or the particulars of the political 
life of Judge Wilkeson, will not be expected within the limits of 
this paper. It will be enough to say that between the years 1820 
and 1830 he was appointed first judge of this county, was elected 
Member of the Assembly, and at the expiration of his term was 
sent from the Eighth District to the Senate of this State. 

He was one of the first citizens chosen to fill the office of 
Mayor after the incorporation of this city, and performed his 
duties with his characteristic tntrepiditvi and zeal, infusing his 
energy into the administration of its affairs, and making its 
police, for a time, the terror of evil doers. 



It is not too much to say that he filled all these stations with 
distinguished ability and with continually increasing reputation 
to himself and advantage to his constituents. 

Soon after the close of his political career, he became con. 
nected with the American Colonization Society, and acted for 
several years as agent and manager of. the affairs of this benevo- 
lent institution without compensation. 

His papers show the extensive knowledge he had acquired of 
the geography of Africa, and of the moral and physical condition 
of its population, and the profound interest he felt in the eleva- 
tion of its barbarous and degraded tribes, an interest that was 
not diminished by his retirement from his official connection 
with the cause as years, and infirmities increased, but continued to 
the end of his life. 

He was eminently fearless in the expression of his opinions, 
and never shrunk from the exposure of any corruption in high or 
low places, whatever danger might be incurred, or whatever hos- 
tilities aroused. 

He was distinguished for the influence he exerted over other 
minds. He was a natural leader of men and would have filled 
with credit and honor the most exalted stations of government 
and authority. He had an extraordinary faculty of impressing 
his opinions upon others and leading them to conclusions which 
seemed their own, but were really his. There was a vigor of 
thought and action about Judge Wilkeson that naturally sub- 
jected to his influence those who came within his sjihere, like 
the strong current of a rapid river, drawing within its control, 
carrying with its flow and impelling with its motion the objects 
that would otherwise have reuiained inert and stationary. He 
communicated his energy to other men and gave impulse and 
movement to other minds by the vigor of his own. In former 
ages and under other circumstances he might have led armies to 
victory, or headed a revolution against tyranny, or founded a 
dynasty, for he had all the essential elements of the old hero race, 
who were made rulers and kings because they were " mighty 
men of valor, " who were elevated In- common consent, as the 
ancient Goths bore their elective monarchs aloft on their 
shields, an acknowledgment and sign of a superiority, not oi 
accident, but of intellect and courage. 


Judge Wilkeson was entirely free from that common error of 
little minds of attempting to maintain an apparent consistency 
of opinion at the expense either of veracity or integrity. Not- 
withstanding his inflexibility of purpose and iron will, he was 
ready to be corrected and Open to conviction. Any view that 
he had taken, any course that he had adopted, which afterwards 
appeared erroneous, he readily and openly abandoned. An illus- 
tration of this trait may be found in the following fact : 

A few months after he had made a public profession of reli- 
gion, Judge Wilkeson was appointed upon a committee of con- 
ference to promote a certain measure of moral and religious 
character. He made some suggestion in regard to the matter, or 
advised some plan, which was thought by a much younger mem- 
ber of the committee to be imbued with the spirit of worldly 
rather than divine wisdom, which he frankly stated. The Judge 
immediately replied : 

'' Those who have practised upon the suggestions of expe- 
diency until they are old are likely to be misled by them, and 
you, my young friend, can not understand how much a man 
long trained in the maxims of the world, has to contend with" 
— a noble reply to a just reproof. 

To that pretended consistency which implies either an in- 
.capability of error or of progress, he made no pretension, and 
those who do pretend to it seem to forget that the assumption 
clothes them with the attributes of God in the one case by sup- 
posing them infallible, or makes them in the other fools, by deny- 
ing them the power or the disposition to correct their errors, or 
increase their knowledge. It is not consistency, but cowardice, 
that leads a class of rnen to cleave to their ancient errors and 
adhere to their mistaken opinions. 

The true man can no more be bound by them, than could 
Samson by the cords of the Philistines. He goes where trutli 
leads, if he goes alone, unmoved by the snarling of that envTous 
crew who invariably dog the heels of all who rise above their 
own inferior and contemptible standard. That Judge Wilkeson 
was not liable to be warped by the stroftg views he took of his 
own side of a question, or that he was incapable of prejudice is 
not intended bv these remarks, but that he could bear reproof, 


and when convinced of an error was ready to acknowledge his 
mistake and retrace his steps. 

Judge Wilkeson possessed unusual conversational powers, 
and we venture to affirm that {^^■f men were ever in his com- 
pany, even for a brief period, without receiving the impres- 
sion that he was an extraordinary person, and retaining a lively 
recollection of his appearance and address. 

No one has traveled with him, or spent half an hour at a 
public table in his society, who was not convinced that he was 
enjoying the conversation of a man of splendid intellect, of 
varied knowledge and acute observation. With what prompt 
and withering rebuke he has reproved improprieties and purse- 
proud insolence and brawling infidelity and profanity in public 
places, there are living witnesses, who will never forget the 
power of his eye, the sternness of his look and the severity of his 

Let those of you who remember Judge Wilkeson think for a 
moment and consider whether you have known any individual 
among your acquaintances who generally resembles him. Can 
you recall any person who would remind you of his appearance, 
manner or address, or whose mental characteristics are suffi- 
ciently similar to sustain a comparison ? He was a man sui 
generis in almost every respect, and although he may have had 
equals in capacity, yet he possessed those peculiarities of mind 
and manner which attract universal attention and prevent all 
idea of resemblance. 

No man could be more affectionate and indulgent in his 
family than Judge Wilkeson. Whatever impression he may have 
nnade upon casual acquaintances by a certain apparent severity of 
manner, those who knew him best can testify that as a friend, 
as a husband, as a father, his conduct was characterized by a 
kindness and affection rarely equalled. 

He was thrice married to women of superior talents and 

Almost all the great moral enterprijjcs of the day had his 
countenance and aid, and numerous instanced might be given ot 
his readiness in every good work, and of his liberal contributions 
for the various objects of benevolence. 


As an elder in the Presbyterian Church he was excellent in 
counsel and prompt in his performance of the duties of 
his office, so far as his advancing age would permit, and 
notwithstanding his multiplied sorrows and increasing infirmi- 
ties, laboring under a form of disease which subjected him 
to the most excruciating pain, and which would have utterly 
incapacitated most men from active exertion or warm interest in 
the external affairs of the church, he continued to manifest the 
deepest concern in its prosperity, by personal efforts and 
pecuniary contributions. A strong rod was broken and withered 
in our Presbyterian Zion when Samuel Wilkeson died. 

Of the death of our departed friend and brother while on the 
way to visit a -daughter residing in the State of Tennessee, a 
stranger (Dr. McCall, a resident of that State,) who was called 
to his death-bed, gave the following statement through the col- 
umns of the New York Journal of Conunerce : 

On arriving at Kingston, Roane Co., Tennessee, at 9 p. m.. of the 7th 
inst.,* I was requested to see a dying stranger, Judge .Samuel Wilkeson, of 
Buffalo, New York. As an enterprising citizen, whose conduct had been 
marked with great benevolence, I had heard of him. He had a daughter with 
him, on their way to visit his married daughter at Tellico Plains, forty miles 
from this place. The latter arrived to attend his funeral at 6 o'clock this 
evening, the 9th. Bronchial erysipelas of two years' standing had caused 
gouty and rheumatic neuralgia in the lun^bar and sciatic nerve with other con- 
stitutional derangement. 

He was conscious of his approaching dissolution and met it wiih the most 
perfect calmness and submission. On asking for water he found that he could 
not swallow it, and turning over he said he would "drink of the springs of 
living waters.'" Intently examining his benumbed limbs with his hands and 
piercing black eyes, he said sul'missively and assentingly, "Weill Weill"' 
Having failed of words to express himself, his brain was actively thinking tor 
twelve or fourteen hours, when its powers suddenly sinking, he passed from 
life, like one quietly reposing in sleep, not moving one muscle, nor suffering 
any distress. Truly his seemed to be the death of the Christian, necessary for 
passing the screen that conceals future life from our view. He was an actjve 
pro.noter of the Colonization cause years ago, and long liad been an exem- 
plary member of the Presbyterian Church. His form and appearance strikingly 
resembled Cien. Jackson. He was 67 years^of age. 

This is the record of the attendant physician concerning tl.e 
last hours of Samtiel Wilkeson. 

♦July, i^4S.~l-:n. 


One thing very characteristic of the man was said by him on 
his death-bed. Reference being made to the hardship of his 
case, dying among strangers and far from home, '' What matters 
it," replied he, *' where one dies? " 

The lofty spirit of the dying Christian rose above the sad 
circumstances of his case, and what to him was the point of his 
departure, whose eye was fixed upon the gates of the Eternal 
City, who was about to enter upon another and a better life? 

Twenty-three years have elajised since the death of Judge 
Wilkeson, but his works do follow him, and shall while this fair 
city holds her place at the foot of Lake Erie, and while her har- 
bor is filled with the ships of those inland seas, which constitute 
the Mediterranean of the New World. If this imperfect memoir 
shall help to conserve the memory of this eminent man, pre- 
served as it will be in the archives of the Historical Society of 
Buffalo, I shall have accomplished the design which I proposed 
in the preparation of this paper. 


Reminiscences of Judge Samuel Wilkeson, bv Samuel A. 
BiGELOW, HIS Early Clerk and Associate. 


The late Rev. Albert Bigelow, a former Secretary ot the ButTalo Historical 
Society, left a MS. narrative which combines reminiscences of his father, 
Samuel A. Bigelow, and of Judge 'Samuel Wilkeson, for whom Mr. Bigelow, 
on arriving in Buffalo in August, 1S15, became clerk. Erom this MS., cour- 
teously placed at the disposal of the editor of the present volume of Publica- 
tions, by Mrs. Albert Bigelow, now of Harrisburg, Pa., the following extracts 
have be-'n made, being deemed especially worthy of preservation in connec- 
tion with the foregoing memoir of Judge Wilkeson by Dr. Lord. — Editor. 

When Dr. Lord read his paper upon the late Judge Wilkeson 
— and others gave their recollections of him — my father, being 
unable to hear what was communicated, could not at that time 
add his own reminiscences or remarks. 


I afterwards read to him the Secretary's report of the state- 
ments made and his additional facts and observations so inter- 
ested me that I took pains to preserve them in writing, in order 
that if opportunity offered, they might be added to those 
which the Society had already received. 

I have thought it, also, no more than a filial duty to connect 
my father's name with tiiat of Judge Wilkeson somewhat more 
closely than was done in the mere allusion made on the occa- 
sion referred to, at least, so far as necessary, in order to show his 
fitness to furnish these additional memorabilia. I shall not, per- 
haps, overstep the bounds of propriety, even in the presence of 
some of the gentlemen thus familiarly referred to, if I say that so 
intimate were the relations of my father with Judge Wilkeson and 
his family, that one of the daughters, Mrs. Stagg, remarked more 
than once that ''Sam,'" as he was called among them, '^broii^^ht 
up Pa's boys." It is pleasant to know that they have done so 
good justice to their " bringing up." And just here it will not 
be unseemly, in the freedom of communication in this Society, 
to relate what Mr. Gibson T. Williams* will perhaps remember to 
have stated, showing how much, with all Judge Wilkeson's well- 
known self-reliance and strength of opinion and will, he yet re- 
lied upon my father's judgment, first as clerk and afterwards as 
partner in business. Mr. Williams having some })roposition to 
make to Judge Wilkeson, he replied at once. '' I'll talk it over 
with Bigelow and give you an answer at such a time." 

It is correctly written in the Secretary's report that my father 
was Mr. Wilkeson's first clerk. In August, 1815, he being then 
less than 18 years of age, was on his way westward from Geneseo 
seeking his tbrtune, and he had concluded to take Buffalo in his 
way, as he had heard that it was a well-to-do young village. 
Footing it hitherward via LeRoy village and Batavia, when yet 
some miles away, became across Moses Baker, who was driving in 
some sheep for Wilkeson and Folsom's market. This was loca- 
ted, by the way, in front of the present site of the First Presby- 
terian Church. t The night of August 25, 1S15, they "put up" 
with Mr., afterwards Deacon, Jabez Cioodell, in his log tavern 

♦Died April 14, 1S91.— Ed. 

tNow occupied by the Erie County Savings Bank biiikling.— Kd. 


with a framed hall and office in from of it, about where the 
Goodell dw^elling was afterwards built. Next morning, August 
26th, they came into the village, and that day Mr. Baker intro- 
duced the stranger lad — who knew not another soul in the place 
or region — to Mr. Wilkeson. Being out of my father's hearing, 
let me say that I think it was quite in keeping with other things we 
know of Judge Wilkeson's judgment and understanding of men, 
and insight of character, that he immediately, that very day, 
took that lad into his employ as clerk in the store situated 
(I may just note) where now is the drug store next to the lower 
corner of the Kremlin Block, and then the only building on the 
Kremlin triangle. I do not think he ever regretted the confi- 
dence he then placed in him. 

I do not intend to give a history of my father's association 
with Judge Wilkeson. But you can easily understand that he 
IS naturally sensitive as to the rendering of due honor to the 
Judge in regard to his efforts towards opening our harbor and 
securing the western terminus of the Erie Canal for Buffalo. In 
connection with this he is not satisfied that any doubt should be 
thrown upon the agency of DeWitt Clinton in this matter. 

In the Secretary's rejjort of remarks sui)plementing Dr. Lord's 
paper, Mr. Lewis F. Allen is recorded as saying, in effect, that 
it-was an accident, and not the strenuous efforts of Judge Wilke- 
son and Mr. Clinton that brought the Erie Canal to Buffalo. As 
I read this my father (juickly remarked : 

" I never heard such a thing as that said before. I should 
like to find out what that 'accident' was." 

Mr. Allen, I think it was, also remarked that what Mr. Clin- 
ton did do in the matter was not frum public spirit or a wish to 
favor Buffalo, but as a bid for the Governor's chair. As to this 
my father replied, when I read it: 

'■' Clinton was not Governor till 1824, yet four years betbre 
that^. in 1820, he was actively engaged personally on the ground, 
in measures towards the settlement of the then great question in 
favor of Buffalo, while long before that, as well as after, Mr. 
Wilkeson planned and negotiated and idorkcii faithfully, and did 
what no accident or series of accidents could ever have accom- 


Let it be remembered that in 1818, by the efforts of Mr. 
VVilkeson, with help of others, the so-called '' Experiment Pier" 
was sunk by way of testing the availability of Buffalo Creek for 
harbor purposes, and Mr. Wilkeson, Ebenezer Johnson, Oliver 
Forward, and Townsend & Coit, borrowed of the State of New 
York ;^i 2,000 with which to build this pier. Isaac Smith had 
the contract for building it. This was discharged by the State 
when it assumed the contract for building the harbor.* 

Then in the spring of. 1820, the enterprise of Mr. Wilkeson 
insured the success of the following undertaking. The very prac- 
tical question came up, where shall the steamboat Superior be 
built? Brown of New York was to build the boat and was on 
the ground receiving overtures from Black Rock and Buffalo as 
candidates for the honor and profit of this enterprise. It is even 
related that Judge VVilkeson had reason to believe that after 
Brown had agreed to take Buffalo as his building place he showed 
signs of backing down and that Judge Wilkeson broke in upon a 
conference of Brown and Black Rockians — the story is that he 
actually broke in the door of the room where the conference was 
taking place— and held Brown firmly up to his previous engage- 
ment. At any rate it was unquestionably the fact that Brown 
hesitated about building at Buffalo because, on account of a bar 
that often formed at the creek's mouth, he doubted if he coulil 
ijet the boat out of the creek if she was built within it. But 
Judge Wilkeson, Ebenezer Johnson, Elijah Efner and others. 
gave their personal bonds to Brown to pay him $50 per dayf /or 
every day the boat should be detained in the harbor by low water 
on the bar after she was ready to go out, if he would build her here. 
This settled the matter, and then the citizens — Judge Wilkeson be- 
ing foremost among them— made the memorable subscription of 
nearly $2,000 to furnish funds for clearing away the harbor bar 
in season for the departure of the Superior, and when the boat 
was, ready the harbor was ready too. 

♦Incident confirming the date of the work : Samuel A. Bigelow was building the 
warehouse for Wilkeson and went over the creek^for timber. Middan^h was then 
over there, chari^ed by Joseph Kllicolt with {juardins the timber. The work of buiid- 
inff the pier was then goine: on. They were drawinsj bushes, etc., to fdl in the pier. 
Middaugli forbade Bigelow getting the timber. Bigelow said "Kllicott will be here 
within a week and it will be all right," and Middaugh said no more.— .\. P 

tMr. Ingleharl says S150. Cj . antf, p. 62.— Kd. 

' ' THE HA RB OR- MA KE R 01- B UFFA LOr 89 

Of the labors of Judge Wilkeson — with head and hands— nay 
with his whole body and all his remarkable powers, my father has 
a very vivid recollection — and of how he would be found himself 
waist deep in the water directing and urging on the work. 

As to the dredge: There was then no convenient steam dredge 
with great iron scoop to sail about and dig up and drain off and 
load in and carry away the alluvium from the bottom of the 
channel. But " Where there is a wMU there is a way" and a 
dredge that '• did the business " was made as follows : 

A log ten or twelve feet long was split through the middle 
and smoothed down, making an edge. This edge was covered 
with heavy sheet iron, doubled sharp over it and spiked. A 
tongue about fourteen feet long was inserted. This log-scoop 
was rigged at the stern of a scow. On the deck was a capstan 
with a hawser,* made fast to a capstan on shore with a horse to 
turn it. The scow would be floated to the further side of the 
creek, and the dredge, weighted to make it heavy, dropped to 
the bottom. The scow w^ould be floated back and made fast to 
a post, then the horse would turn the capstan, thus dragging the 
dredge across the creek, bringing it up as nearly as possible to 
the boat. In this manner the bottom of the creek was scraped 

■ In the summer of the same year (1820), four years before Mr. 
Clinton became Governor, a commission to locate the terminus 
of the Erie Canal was on the ground — and on the water too. 
busily investigating the data for decision. That commission 

consisted of DeWitt Clinton, Thomas,'-^ chief engineer, 

Samuel Wilkeson, Ebenezer Johnson, Thomas F. Sherwood and 
Thomas C. Love. Among my father's most distinct recollec- 

*Thts was David Thomas (born 1776, died 1S59), of Quaker family, a man of 
rtpute in his day as civil enjjineer, botanist and journalist, especially on aRricultural 
.'•nd other economic subjects. His home was at .Aurora, Cayuga Co., N. \-, when in 
:8o5 he was appointed chief engineer of the Erie Canal west of Rochester. Subse- 
(juently.he became princi{>al engineer on the Welland Canal. Four years before the 
\isit referred to in the text— in -May, 1816— he and Jonathan Swan, a merchant ot 
Aurora, visited BulTalo on their way to explore the " Wah.ish Lands," now included in 
the State of Indiana. Mr. Thomas found BiilValono consist " of more than one hun- 
dred houses ; many are frame, several ari brieve, ami a coniiiderablc number are large 
and elegant." He observed the " black sills of former buildings," burned by the 
British in 1S13. The brief but interesting record of that visit, with many notes ot value 
on the country traversed, are foutjd in his now scarce book, "Travels through the 
^Vt-?tern Country," etc., .Auburn, 1819. — Ed. 


tions is that of the expedition of these commissioners in a yawl 
boat, making soundings in reference to che practicability of a 
pier from Bird Island to the head of Squaw Island. On this 
occasion Thomas F. Sherwood hove the lead and Mr. Bigelow, 
Mr. Wilkeson's clerk, as clerk of the Board of Commissioners, 
made the record of the soundings. . 

Among reminiscences of Judge Wilkeson as a store-keeper is 
the following : One day some soldiers were in the grocery wear- 
ing their long overcoats. One of these undertook to turn a penny 
by laying in supplies on his own account and slyly abstracted a cod- 
fish from the pile, and drew it under his capacious surtout. But 
alas, the keen eye of Mr. Wilkeson had noted the operation. 
The soldier stood about in a careless way for a while, but })res- 
ently Mr. Wilkeson,- having approached him by degrees, on a 
sudden drew open the fellow's overcoat, seized tl\e codfish with 
both hands and dealt him a blow over the head with the un war- 
like weapon which felled him to the floor, and taught him that, 
at least within range of such a keen eye, " Honesty is the best 

At another time an Indian was in the store half drunk, and 
being refused more liquor by Mr. Wilkeson, became angr\', and 
having in hand a musket with a bayonet, he, as the saying now is. 
"went for him" in "charge bayonet " style. But Mr. Wilke- 
son was too quick for him, and dodged the bayonet, which 
stuck tight in a board ceiling — so tight that it could not be 
drawn out. Mr. Wilkeson on the instant seized a sword he had 
at hand, and with the back of it dealt the Indian a blow over 
the forehead, cutting a gash and flooring him. He got up, took 
a bee line for the door, s^nd disapi)eared. He was gone several 
days. When he came back he cautiously put his head into the 
door and asked for his musket ; but Mr. Wilkeson bade him be- 
gone. How long his probation continued my father does not 
recollect — long enough, we may be assured, to give him a thor- 
oughly wholesome fear of attacking such a store-kee[)er. 

In connection with Judge Wilkeson's harbor labors, my 
father recalls one of his characteTistically energetic expressions. 
One Jefferson was trying to split a log and had hard work 
to do it. Mr. Wilkeson coming along, Jefferson asked him. 


**Who shall I get to help me split this log?" Mr. Wilkeson, 
too full of work and too self-reliant to give patient hearing to a 
question like that, as quick as the lightning flash itself shouted 
out, ''Get thunder and lightning to help you," and on he went, 
leaving Jefferson to engage these elements or not, according to his 



MrriftiTtT i<te rmrriiitliBaiit-'riiiii'';'*''**' 

Krotii th" Illu^tr;inM It.itlal.. Kxp 


StE APPENDIX, P. }8j. 



READ AT CLUB MEETINGS FEB. l6, 1874, AND IN 1 877.* 


This paper is a condensation of several which the writer has 
prepared by request at various times, to-\vit, ''The Old Williams- 
ville Mills," "The Firm of Juba Storrs & Co.," and biograph- 
ical notices of the individual members of the firm. These 
papers also included references to certain •* partners," not mer- 
cantile, and yet of no small moment in their influence on the 
firm's affairs; and of various employees at different times and 
l)laces acting for the company. Authentic items, too, not 
squarely in the line of simple statistical history, yet illustrating 
olden times, and enlivening the account, have here and there 
been introduced. 

My plan, then, made the Firm of Juba Storrs & Co. not the 

robe itself, but the girdle that confines its folds; or, not the 

sheafs but the strong band of twisted stalks binding the many 

into one. And while somewhat modified, as indicated, this 

plan still holds good in the following narrative as prepared for 

the press. 

*.ArTHOR's NoiK. — The original pl.iii of Uiis paper resulted in its becoming two, 
read as above indicated. The plan was peculiarly comprehensive, and while capable 
of being modified in reading, snthciently for cluh-meetuig purposes, woidd be dinicu'.t 
to ibllow s.'itisfactorily in publication. For this' purpose, th^efore, I have here con- 
<lensed the two papers into one, and have been content to jjive much less in quaniity 
of biographical matter than is needed for completeness — less indeed than was actually 
read u|>on the two occasions named. 


The intent of my narrative, if any it shall have, is not that 
of a tale of 

" Moving accidents by field and flood ; " 

nor, yet, of vast and striking enterprise. It tells of ordinary 
life, and humble deeds ; of struggle, even of failure ; — yet, this 
I may say, of failure hardly in the main to be accounted such : 
defeats savoring, in fact, of victory. 

One reflection let me venture here, however. I am moved 
to say, *•' Alas! that so much history should have been buried in 
the graves of those who made it ! " There is danger lest some 
day we wake and find ourselves more knowing as to Russia and 
Japan, or other regions nearer by, yet outside of our own, than 
of our strictly' local history. A letter of good-will today 
received from Alexander J. Sheldon, Esq.,* late librarian of the 
Grosvenor Library, mentions feelingly his own regret that oppor- 
tunities, now forever gone, were lost by him for gaining knowl- 
edge from his parents, in relation to our early history, a regret 
which many already and which I fear many more will some day 

I cannot omit to say that I have been favored more than I 
can tell, in that I could draw upon the full, clear and accurate 
recollections of General Lucius Storrs and Mrs. Dr. AVarner ; and 
I must confess myself surprised to find how these, which form by 
far the greatest part of my authorities, are corroborated upon 
every hand by all the tests that I have been able to apply. 

And now, first turn your thought backward, a full century in 
timCy — and in place carry you to a point whence the region we 
occupy was then thought of as the far-off western wiiderness. 
Thence glancing at its still more distant sources, I shall trace 
hitherward that tributary stream which earliest entered the main 
channel we shall follow — noticing, then, others as they enter — 
and finally tracing each again, as it separates from the main 
channel, and flows as through a delta, onward to the all-engulfing 

I mention, then, as first to'enter Buffalo, of those who after- 
wards formed the Firm of Juba Storrs & Co., the honored, 

*Mr. Sheldon died March 23, 1S76.— Kn. 


esteemed, lamented Captain Benjamin Caryl. He was born in 
Hubbardston, Worcester County, Mass., October 12, 1773. His 
father's name was Jonathan — a name, however, often in old 
records shortened to John, and used with it interchangeably. He 
was born March i, 1730, but where is not ascertained. Mrs. 
Jonathan Caryl's name was Anna Clark; She was born September 
I, 1734, but I have not learned where. One of her grandsons, 
Benjamin Clark Caryl, an old and well-known citizen of Buffalo, 
now deceased, derived his middle name from her. Farther back 
than this by specific name, I cannot find means of going, in the 
modern Caryl family record. 

That the Caryls were at .first settled in Worcester, Mass., is 
considered certain. It is but a few miles from Hubbardston, 
Benjamin's birth-place, and there is no association of the Caryl 
name with any other place than Worcester, at the date of Jona- 
than's birth. All collateral associations center here — as for in- 
stance that of the settlement of the Young family in this country, 
to which Mrs. Caryl belonged. 

When Hubbardston became the family home I cannot tell. 
But it is certain that it had no town charter till 1767, six years 
before Benjamin Caryl's birth ; and settlements follotved the 
charters in the natural order of things. So that his must have 
been among the pioneer births in Hubbardston. And Mr. 
Caryl often spoke of his claim to the absolute pioneer distinction 
of having been the first child baptized in the church of his 
native town. Benjamin Caryl was next to the youngest of the 
children, and he was the survivor of them all. 

In 1778, when Benjamin was five years old (two years after 
the Declaration of Independence), his father emigrated to Ches- 
ter, Windsor County, Vermont.^ It is on the eastern slope of 
the Green Mountains, watered by branches of the Williams 
River, a western tributary of the Connecticut. 

*Author's Note. — " Etnijjrated " is the right word for such a movement, in that 
(lay. although it involved only passing from the northern part of one State to the 
southern part of an adjoining one. For Chester was then quite a now place, having 
been settled only fifteen years before, in 1763. But as late as 1705, seventeen years atler 
the Carols removal into \erniont. I learn from a very interesting original letter of that 
year, which lies before me, that emigration from Connecticut to Middlebury. \'t., 
meant a thirteen days' journey with ox teams, and manifold experiences, such as a 
A ery new country alone aftbrds. 



In Chester, Mr. Caryl's childhood was still, as the dates 
above given show, that of the son of a very early settler, if not 
of an actual pioneer. He certainly was a " Green Mountain 
boy " of the olden time. But of his childhood I have no direct 
facts to relate. 

A hint, however, as to the position of the family — their rela- 
tion to their neighbors and the circumstances of the Chester life, 
1 obtain from Hall's " History of Eastern Vermont." 

Those days were then full of excitement. It was in the 
stirring times of conflicting jurisdiction between the then young 
and high-blooded States of Vermont and New York ; — such as 
existed also between New York and Massachusetts ; from which 
days many stories, like the following, of antagonistic authority 
and resistance to legal process on one side or the other have in 
authentic narrative come down to us. 

Dr. Reuben Jones, a member of the Vermont Legislature in 
1 781, was seized for debt in New Hampshire in 1785. He 
escaped to Vermont whither he was pursued by one Griswold, 
and was arrested at his home in Chester. ''John" or Jona- 
than Caryl (Benjamin's father), then 55 years old. and Amos 
Fisher, disputed the officer's authority, attacked him and deliv- 
ered Dr. Jones. Though indicted for resisting an officer, the 
rescuers were not convicted. 

The Caryl family, I conclude from this incident, wa> so 
associated and situated as to develop a natural, sturdy inde- 
pendence in its members, and a habit of thinking and acting 
for themselves and according to their own conviction of right 
and duty. 

So, too, they were an honest family. A Mr. Collender, whose 
early home was Chester, once said to Mrs. Dr. Warner : '• Your 
father's family, the Caryls, was noted far and wide as a family of 
honest men." The character and reputation for independence 
and honesty were never sullied or injured by Benjamin Caryl, but 
were thoroughly sustained through all reverses. 

While a lad he was ap{)renticed to mercantile business, prob- 
ably at Worcester, Mass., as w'as then the custom, and there is 
nothing to show that he did not serve out his time. Just when 
his apprenticeship ended I do not know, but at his release he 


returned to Chester and entered business on his own account; 
and as he became of age in 1 794, this may be taken as a probable 
starting-point. He remained in Chester until 1804, doubtless 
engaged in business during the entire ten years. He had at 
least two partners during this time, but' whether at different 
times or together, I cannot say. One partner was Mr. Chan- 
dler, of a wealthy Worcester family, of which our townsman R. 
H. Heywood, Esq., had very early knowledge, for, as a clerk 
he was connected with them and can tell how, to one of their 
number, the singular name of •' Old Compound," once attached, 
and ever after clung. A sister of Mr. Caryl's partner, Chandler, 
was married to the Rev. Aaron Bancroft of Worcester, a biogra- 
pher of Washington, and was the mother thus of Hon. George 
Bancroft, our National historian and diplomatist. Here we find 
another hint as to the standing and association of the Caryl 

The other partner was Nathaniel FuUerton, of Chester, Vt., 
who died October 29, 1872, aged 97 years, then, and having for 
forty-five years been president of the State Bank of Bellows 
Falls, Vt., a few miles only distant from Chester. He- was, at 
the time of his death, the oldest bank president in the United 

He and a brother, Thomas Fullerton, had partnerships in 
early years at Chester, Putney, Barnard, Stockbridge and other 
places in Vermont, under different firm names. Among these 
were that of Nathaniel Fullerton, with Benjamin Caryl at Ches- 
ter, and later with others of Mr. Caryl's brothers at other 
places, under the name of '' Fullerton & Caryl."* 

Being successfully established in business, Mr. Caryl married, 
July 3, 1798, Miss Susannah Young, daughter of Dr. John and 
Elizabeth Smith Young, of Peterborough, Hillsborough Co., N. 

♦Author's Note.— Henry N. Fullerton, of Chester, \'t., son ot Nathaniel Fuller- 
ton', writes me thus, under date ot February 9, 1874 : 

" I have heard my father say that the hou>e in wliicli he lived and died land in 
which the son now live<), was purchased of Mr. Heniatnin Caryl, and that he was for 
a short time in company with him in mercantile busincsr;, I have in the old mansion 
the clock which was purchased of Mr. Heniamin Caryl by my father, and on the same 
is inscribed, ' Warranted for Mr. Jonathan Caryl, Chester, \'t.,' which I suppose is 
close on to a hundred years old ; a reliable time-keeper, and valuable for antiquity and 
for havin>j been in the possession of the old I'riend o! my heloveil father " 


H. Mr. Caryl was either very discerning and tasteful or else ex- 
ceedingly fortunate in his choice of a wife. 

In personal appearance she was beautiful. The gentleman 
whom I have already mentioned as extolling the honesty of the 
Caryls, was equally enthusiastic in praise of the beauty of Mrs. 
Caryl. Said he: "When people wanted to speak of a very 
fine appearing woman, they used to say ' she's almost as hand- 
some as Ben. Caryl's wife,' and this was sufficient praise." 

Numbers here can still remember her dignified, graceful 
features and bearing as a matron in advanced years. Some, may- 
be, farther back in middle life. And a faithful portrait by Wil- 
gus, on my parlor wall, bears testimony to her remarkably fine 
presence and appearance even in age.* 

As to wifely and motherly character Mr. Caryl's choice fell 
upon one who, through all the vicissitudes of their united life, 
was excellent and admirable ; words which I use without reserve 
and in their fullest meaning. 

In Chester was born to this couple Elizabeth (Eliza) Smith, 
March 28, 1800. (She was married to R. W. Haskins, Esq.. of 
Buffalo, Nov. 5, 1828, and died June 22, 1836.) Also Susan 
Young, Feb. 27, 1802. (She was married April 13, 1823, to 
Lucius Storrs, Esq., of Buffalo, and died in March, 1878.) 

In Chester Mr. Caryl was made captain of a company of grena- 
diers or light infantry, and thenceforward through life was known 
as Capt. Caryl. For several years the Chester business prospered. 
Mr. Caryl and partners buying goods in Boston and promptly 
meeting obligations ; but, becoming endorser to large amounts 
for his younger brother, Amos, he was suddenly called to meet his 

♦Author's NoTK.— Our former citizen, Foster Voutig, llie father of Messrs. \Vm. 
F. and the lale Chas. E. YouiiEf, of our city, was a brotlier of Mrs. Caryl, and I well 
remember the symmetry of his features and handsomene.'^s of liis fisjure. Mr. Foster 
Young's wife was Valinda Fletcher, daughter of Samuel Fletcher and Mehitable 
Hazelton, born in I'ownsend. WiiKiiiain Co., \t., .May 9, 1790; moved to Hutraiojn the 
summer of 1S07 with her sister, was married in RulTalo to Foster Young of Peter- 
borough, X. H., Nov. 10, iSio. [She died Oct. 12, iSSi.— EId.] 

Dr. John Young of Whitesboro, N. \ ., was another brother of Mrs. Caryl; hi« 
children, most of them well-known in I'.ufValo,jvere Commodore John Young. U.S.N.. 
Jeremiah Young, of liangor, Maine, William C. Yoimg, now of New York City, but 
long a resident among us, one of the oldest living graduates of the L'- S. .Militar>' 
Academy at West Point, Mrs. Roosevelt of relham. and Mrs. John L. Curtenius, of 


obligations as a surety, besides carrying his business debts. The 
demand was too great, he could not meet it, and he failed. 

I cannot give particulars as to this failure, but he gave up all 
his property for his creditors' benefit. Yet this was not enough, 
as the law then was — the abominable law of imprisonment for 
debts — and he fell into " danger of the judgment" — i.e, of arrest 
and confinement in a debtor's cell. To escape this he prudently 
resolved to quit the country. 

Of all available means he had only left after giving up his 
property, a certain article of title to land in Canada. 

So he took this article of title and early in 1804 set out for 
Canada, to get clear of the United States, and find out whether 
his article was of any value. He accomplished both purposes. 
He arrived at Little York, now Toronto, and there found that 
his land title was good for nothing. 

So there he was — separated from his family and kindred, a 
prison ready for him at home, and he in a strange land, an exile, 
with nothing but his hand and heart and brain to carry him 

But a Canadian gentleman at Little York soon engaged him 
to go to Townsend, Canada, sixteen miles from Brantford, on 
the road to Long Point, and superintend a store. Very soon 
we find him able to undertake business for himself. He carried 
on a store and a distillery and began to be successful. But he 
could not be content to be longer alone — and sent home to 
Chester for his wife and children and the household goods. 

His elder brother Jonathan (grandfather of Mrs. Swartz of 
Angola), brought them on as far west as Whitesboro, near 
Utica, to the home of Mrs. Caryl's brother. Dr. John Young. 

Here the little family were re-united, Mr. Caryl coming from 
Canada to receive his treasures into his own loving care, and 
guide and help them on their further journey to their new and 
foreign home. 

That '* Pennsylvania wagon!" Large, strong, and canvas- 
covered ! What an institution it was ! Slow but very sure 
predecessor of today's canal boat 'and long* freight train for 
transportation, and of the lightning e\i)ress and Pulhnan i)alaces 
for travelers. I imai^fine it now, with its hii;h box framed and 


paneled and painted blue, the ends rising higher than the 
middle; its wheels heavy and strong, and other running gear 
built to encounter all the roughness of stumpy, rocky or cor- 
duroy roads, and drawn by its five stout horses — two teams and 
a leader, the driver sitting on the near wheel horse and driving 
with a single rein. It is in such a wagon, with such outfittings, 
that the journey I have mentioned is to be performed. It is well 
packed with household goods from bottom board to cover, save 
space enough in front for the little family. And there are the 
beautiful young mother, her heart full of courage and of love ; 
her little daughters, four and two years old, and the husband at 
thirty-two years of age,, with a severe experience of reverse, as 
well as that of comforting success behind him, but with hope 
and affection spurring him onward into the future. 

How few are living now who know, except from hearsay, what 
such a pilgrimage as that family were making, was in 1804. 
Mr. Letchworth in his late paper* graphically described the 
journey over this same route in this same year, 1804, of Captain 
Samuel Pratt and his large family in the comfortable old- 
fashioned coach ; but I think it was surely harder still in the 
conveyance I have mentioned. 

From Batavia the little company followed the ''Ridge Road " 
toward Lewiston, halting at a small tavern at Cold Spring, near 
Lockport, where Mrs. Caryl had her first view of an Indian. 
He peered into the window of the room where she was; and no 
subsequent familiarity with the black eyes and dusky features of 
the red men ever effaced that forbidding countenance from her 

Another exciting incident, witnessed from the tavern win- 
dows, occurred at this place. Major Armstrong, from Fort 
Niagara, in pursuit of some British deserters, rode up on horse- 
back, and found the fugitives seated upon a bench in tront of 
the tavern. He called out: ''You must surrender, my fifie 
fellows! " 

"Not till you've got the contents of our muskets," was the 
answer as the men aimed their pieces. * 

♦"Sketch of the Life of Samuel F. Pratt, with some Accoiitit of llie Karly History 
of the Pratt Family," by William W Letcliworlh; read helore the luillalo Historical 
Society, March lo, 1S73. Svo., ill., pp. 2H. BulTalo : Warren, Johnson & Co., 1S74.— Ki>. 


Armstrong wheeled his horse just as the deserters fired, 
wounding both the animal and the officer. At this moment the 
pursuing British troops came up, captured the deserters, and 
carried Armstrong back to Fort Niagara. 

A rough scene this for the young eastern mother with two 
helpless children to witness in the midst of this then great 
western wilderness. « 

Journeying on, to Lewiston, they there crossed the Niagara, 
to Queenston, Canada; and when they were across on British 
soil, the young merchant had remaining just twenty-five cents in 
money. And they were yet well nigh a hundred miles away 
from their destination. To crown all, there was a customs 
officer in readiness and waiting, from whom they expected a 
demand for duties on the household goods they were introducing 
to the King's dominion. In after years Mr. Caryl used to say 
that he w^as never discouraged in his life, not even (capping the 
climax) at this surely critical and discouraging moment. He 
put a bold face on the matter and walked up to the officer, Col. 
Dixon, entering into conversation with him, and asking for the 
amount of duties he would be required to pay. What an 
unspeakable relief it was when Col. Dixon, in a friendly way, 
replied at once, "■ There are no duties, sir; we are only too glad 
to get such settlers as you are to come among us." 

This barrier thus passed, they started forward on the strength 
of that lone quarter dollar saved to their exchequer by this kind- 
ness of the British Lion. However, but a few miles further on, 
they met a gentleman from London, C. W., whom Mr. Caryl 
knew, and of whom he borrowed $io. They went on their 
way rejoicing, and in due time, whatever that may have been, 
they entered Townsend village, where Mr. Caryl had made, as 
I have said, his business beginning. 

But it had been one thing for the man to find sufficient shelter 
f^r himself, alone. It was another to obtain that and sustenance 
for his little family. However, they went at once into a log 
house, of aspect **all forlorn," — and-just then, for the first and 
last time through all their hardships, did a word savoring of 
comi)laint escape the heroic and beautiful woman. .-\.\d thi:-, 
was all she said: **0h, Mr. Carvl, how could you bring me 


here ' " And who can wonder save that other, aye, and bitterer 
words did not break forth from her lips. The furniture was 
brought in, and busily they wrought to put it in place and provide 
rest for themselves that first night, after their long and weary 

Next morning came a manifestation of goodwill, cheering 
enough to the new comers. An old Scotchman, taking his own 
shrewd notice of their situation, of his own accord said to ^Ir. 
Caryl, *' There is no market here ; my cellar is full, you can live 
out of that this winter, and when you get money you can pav 
me." This furnishes a note of time, showing that this removal 
occurred late in the year 1804; certainly after harvest time. 

Thus aided and encouraged by tokens of kindness and wel- 
come, and having now his family once more around him, Mr. 
Caryl went cheerily to work. 

The management of a distillery was in those days and every- 
*! where, a reputable as it was a money-making business; and into 
this Mr. Caryl entered in connection with merchandise; though 
at first he seems to have devoted himself to the manufactory, for 
all day long he would work in the distillery. At night he would 
prepare wood enough for the next day's requirements, Mrs. 
Caryl holding the candle to give light upon his work ; then he 
would go back to the distillery, lay down a buff^ilo skin for a 
bed, place a stick of wood for a pillow, so that not oversleeping, 
he might wake easily, at necessary hours and attend to the still. 

Thus began their Canada life. When now I add that in the 
midst of that winter, soon after their arrival, /. e., February 14, 
1805, Benjamin Clark, their third child and eldest son was born, 
you will realize more completely what an undertaking that trans- 
fer from Vermont had been for that young mother. 

In business Mr. Caryl was here successful. Soon he removed 
to Woodhouse, Canada, not fiir tYom Townsend, and opened 
business there, entering into partnership with Dr. Eliakim 
Crosby,* and purchasing a fine residence, the Durand place. 

♦Author's Notk — He was Uie elder of t\i.o brothers, both physici.-ins. whose 
father had settled in Canada. Dr. Orris'Crosby, thcVouuKest, alone contitiued his 

.tiyjdicil prnctice. The other went into niercanlile and other business largely, actively 
and ^vccessfully. Dr. Crosby was a nuxn of great energy and enterprise and the firm 

, ivas very 'successful in business. 


There Catharine Church,* fourth child, third daughter, was born 
May 29, 1807. 

But in June, 1807, began the difficulty with England about 
the Right of Search, and there was talk of war. Mr. Caryl at 
once desired to return to his own country, not relishing the 
idea of living in an enemy's land if hostilities commenced. 

Gov. Brock offered him special protection if he would re- 
main, and many other men of position tried to detain him; but 
not this or any inducement could satisfy him. Prudence 
and patriotism combined to make him deaf to all solicitations. 
So he sold out his Canada business and property to his partner, 
Dr. Crosby, t and just before the end of the same month, June, 
1807, he crossed over to Buffalo to see what opening and oppor- 
tunity there was here for entering into business. 

And what was Buffalo then ? How shortly before this date it 
was that Western New York was nothing but an Indian wilder- 
ness I The 17th Century wove a ^^w gossamer threads of light 
through this darkness, when, as missionaries first, then as traders, 
white men, few and far between, penetrated these wilds, llie iSth 
Century came — and was almost gone again before white men set- 
tled west of the lower valley of the Mohawk. Then from 1783 or 
'84 onward, as bits of blazing shingles blown by the tempest far 
in advance of the conflagration, kindle flame centers here and 
there, so at Whitestown and westward in Onondaga and Cayuga 
counties (now so named), and at a few other points, civilization 
began catching its way westward. 

\\\ i8o3 there were only three taxable persons in BufHilo, their 
names being already recorded — Johnson, Middaugh and Law. 

In 1804, according to the recollection of William Hull of 
Cleveland, writing at 85 years of age, there were but perha{>s 
twenty houses, three or four of them framed — one of these occu- 
pied by Mr. Pratt, who kept a small store. 

♦Author's Notk.— Church for her auiit, Mrs. Dr. John Youii< of Whiteshoro. 
She became Mrs. Royal Coltoti Nov. 5, 1S23, and Mrs. Di. \V. H. Wariitr. June 21. 

t.\L'THOR's XoTK.— The wisdom of his s^lliuu ttte Canada property became mam- 
fest afterwards when it was confiscated by the British Coyernment, the Crosbys being 
remarkably outspoken .Americans. 


When Mr. Caryl arrived at Buffalo Creek he found a settle- 
ment which Mr. David Mather, in 1806, says consisted of sixteen 
dwellings — mostly framed — eight along on Main Street, three 
on the Terrace, three on Seneca Street and two on Cayuga Street, 
(now Pearl); two stores, one the contractor's, kept by Vincent 
Grant, the other kept by Capt. Samuel Pratt ''adjoining Crow's 
Tavern," in the rear of the present Mansion House site on Ex- 
change Street; David Reese's Indian blacksmith shop on Seneca 
Street, corner Washington, Mr. Louis LeCouteulx's drugstore on 
Crow Street (Exchange Street), and Judge Barker's tavern west of 
Main Street, where the Terrace Market afterwards stood. 

I cannot ascertain, however, what, at first, he accomplished, 
whether he made a beginning alone at some point, as for instance, 
the frame building already mentioned on Crow Street, or was 
simply waiting and looking around — not a likely thing for Capt. 
Caryl to do, by the way. However, even if he was thus wait- 
ing, it was not for long, for a little more than a month after his 
arrival, that is, early in August, 1807, came into the village one 
who was very soon to help him solve the problem of business 
occupation in a very satisfactory manner. I refer to Samuel 
Pratt, Jr. 

Here then, in August. 1807, are these two : Benjamin Caryl, 
nearly 34 years of age, an educated merchant of years' standing 
— experienced both in prosperity and reverses, ready and seek- 
ing to embark his capital and strength and unblemished charac- 
ter in businer^s in this young community; and Samuel Pratt, Jr., 
20 years of age, or nearly 21, seeking also for a business open- 
ing with unquestionably something handsome in way of capital 
to embark in trade. What more natural than that they should 
quickly come together; arid that they did so appears to be the 
testimony on every hand. Mr. Pratt, it is true, was for a very 
short time associated in his father's store, but soon decided to 
go into the same sort of business on his own account, and it 
seems every way probable that though not yet quite of age, he 
entered at last before December, 1^07, with Mr. Caryl into the 
firm of Benjamin Caryl & Co.,— and'I tliink I may say doubt- 
less in the same long, low building at first occupied by Samuel 



Pratt the elder and afterwards perhaps by Mr. Caryl, as a first 
attempt at business alone. 

So soon as the enterprise was fairly under way, Mr. Caryl 
brought his family over from Canada. Having no suitable home 
ready for them, he accepted the generous offer of half of Dr. 
Cyrenius Chapin's house, which in 1813, stood on the northwest 
corner of Main and Swan Streets. And though it was a small 
one, and Mrs. Chapin had four children and Mrs. Caryl four, 
this close association begot a life-long friendship between the 
two families. Not to encroach upon this free hospitality the 
Caryls at once searched for a dwelling, and finding nothing bet- 
ter than a log cabin on the site of the old police building on the 
Terrace (pronounced uninhabitable by the neighbors), Mrs. 
Caryl astonished everybody by having logs and chimney white- 
washed and moving into the cabin. 

I have a picture in my mind's eye of that beautiful New 
Hampshire lady with her four children and her energetic hus- 
band, as they gather in the evenings of that winter around the 
great wood fire, before the rude but wide hearth, and talk of 
the past, the present and the future. Ah, that which to us is 
history, to them was only the utterly unknown future, yet they 
bravely looked forward, while sturdily meeting the day's demands. 
And so the winter passed away and the spring and part of the 
summer, the business of B. Caryl & Co. prospering, and the 
households of the two young partners growing, till in July, iSoS, 
the man arrived in Buffalo who was to be, like the Mississippi, 
where it joins the Missouri — in the particular at least, of giving 
its own name to the river, in place of that of the longest and 
largest stream — so the name of this new-comer was to enter in 
and swallow up the existing firm name of B. Caryl »S: Co. I refer 
to Juba Storrs, Esq. 

Born in 1792, the third of the eleven children of Dan and 
Ruth Conant Storrs, he was *' schooled" in his native town, 
Mansfield, Windham County, Conn., fitted for college at the 
academy in Middlebury, Vt., and wa,s one of the earliest gradu- 
ates of Middlebury College, of which' his imcle, Seth Storr>, 
was one of the founders. In fact there seems a probability, from 


certain correspondence of that day now in my hands, that the 
academy was indeed the chrysalis of the college itself.^ 

Having evidently continued his academic studies, postpon- 
ing the study of law, and been graduated, he pursued legal 
studies at the celebrated law school in Litchfield, Conn., under 
Judge Reeve; and was admitted to practice as an attorney-at- 
law. He thereupon set out westward in search of a location in 
which to practice his profession. 

Having finally arrived at *' Buffalo Creek," he wrote to his 
father, in Mansfield, a letter, dated Buffalo Creek, July 15, 
1808 — from which I quote some paragraphs : 

My Dtar Parent: — You will perceive by the date of this, that I am 
farther from home than I contemplated when I left Manstield. It is a good 
day's ride from Ontario, v/here I thought of making a stand ; but the informa- 
tion I received at Geneva and Canandaigua induced me to pursue my route to 
this place. You will find it on the map by the name of New Amsterdam. It 
is a considerable village, at the mouth of Buffalo Creek, where it empties into 
Lake Erie, and is a port of entry for Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence, and all 
the western lakes, and will eventually be the L'tica, and more than the L'tica, 
of-this western country. Buffalo is in the County of Niagara, f on an exten- 
sive and elevated plain ; and is very healthy; subject to no fevers or uncommon 
diseases, whatever. * * * There are four attorneys in the county, so 
that I think my chance for business is better than it would be in Ontario 
County, yet I shall, I think, get admitted in that county also, and in 
Genesee, which is between this and that. 

According to Turner's history, Niagara County was some- 
what richer in attorneys at its organization, and quite ])robably 
at the time this letter was written, than Mr. Storrs supposed, the 

♦Author's Note.— I have a letter before me from Seth Storrs to Juba's fatlier, 
dated January -, iSoo. which refers to Juba in a noticeable way. in reference to his 
early stages of preparation — perhaps before it w.-is decided that he should enter col- 
lege. He says : " The acaolenu- flourishes, for the time it has been open, juba niakes 
progress in the Latin grammar.- I found lie had a wish to undertake tiie study, and 
thought best to gratify him. Me wanted something to engage his attention, and to 
induce the habit of close application. There is a good deal in learning how to apply 
the mind to study, in the most advantageous manner ; much more than in the immber 
of books we read, or in the number of hours spent in reading. \\\ attorney's office is 
not the best place, nor are a lawyer's books the best study, for this purpose. The mind 
requires cultivation and a ibundatiou laid for flie j^seful reading of law as much as a 
field wants tilling, for the production of wheat. From this study of Latin, Juba will 
not improve in writing or in composition so nuich as he otherwise might. " 

tNiagara County was set otV from Genesee, March ii, iSoS, and included wIkU i- 
now Niagara and Flrie Counties. Krie CoutUy was erected .April 2, iSii. — I£d. 




names of eight being definitely given. In this respect, how true 
indeed it is, that "■ teinpora mutantur !'' 

Mr. Storrs was admitted to the bar in Niagara Co. , and entered 
on the practice of his profession ; even forming a partnership for 
this purpose. For curiosity's sake, I quote from a letter lying 
before me, written to Mr. Dan Storrs of Mansfield, dated 
Batavia, October 22, 1808, by Mr. Trumbull Gary. He says: 

I saw your son not long since at Buffalo, about forty miles west of this 
place. He was well. I also heard from him last week. He was still in health. 

It is hardly necessary now to state that Buffalo is about so far 
from Batavia, in order to locate it for inquiring friends at the 

In Turner's "Holland Purchase" it is stated that Mr. 
Lecouteulx was the first clerk of Niagara County. This was. 
doubtless true; but it is again stated that he was county clerk 
//// 181 2. In a pencil note to this statement, Mr. Lucius Storrs 
has written: ''This is wrong. Juba Storrs was clerk of the 
county in 1809-10." And this Mr. Lucius Storrs has invariably 
maintained. Moreoxer, he gives to me this additional fact con- 
cerning his entering the office : " He was appointed by what was 
known as the Council of Appointment at Albany; but being a 
Federalist in politics, he could not find an officer here who would 
qualify him. So he mounted his horse, and went directly to 
Judge Porter at Niagara Falls, who, before any counteracting 
word could come from Buffalo, gave Mr. Storrs the oath oi 
office and established him in rightful tenure of the same. .\s 
the records of Niagara County were burned in 1S13 at the burn- 
ing of Buffalo, this matter can only be established from the 
memory of such as had oj)portunity of knowing the facts; and it 
is gratifying to be able to do this in the present instance from 
such excellent authority as General Lucius Storrs." 

But, notwithstanding his preparation for, and actual entrance, 
upon, the practice of law. Mr. Storrs found it distasteful to him. 
Its severe routine, perha])s, or may b£ the too frequent success of 
legal quirks, quibbles and chicanery, repelled him. And, more- 
over, the cares and honors of public office failed to satisfy his 
tastes and control his purposes; so he decided to embark in 


mercantile life — with means furnished him for that purpose by 
his father. Mr. Storrs had already invested in real estate, having 
purchased of the Holland Land Company certain ''outer lots," 
being two five-acre pieces, with a log house on each,^ between 
Main and Delaware Streets, as now laid out; which in later 
years have been known, at least the Main Street front of part of 
one of them, as the Walden property. In 1809 or 18 10, the 
existing firm of Benjamin Caryl & Co., viz., Benjamin Caryl 
and Samuel Pratt, Jr., uniting with Mr. Juba Storrs, became the 
firm of Juba Storrs &: Co. Mr. Caryl had set out in business 
with $7,000, and Mr. Pratt had certainly brought ''something 
handsome," but Mr. Storrs was able to bring from the home 
treasury and put into the business so much more than either, that 
though younger by nine years than Mr. Caryl, and no merchant 
in disposition or education, his name stood forth as the charac- 
teristic one of the new firm. The Mississippi entered the 
Missouri, and gave its name to the united current. 

Juba Storrs was far better fitted for a literary than a legal or 
mercantile life. He had marked abilities and tastes which, if he 
could, for instance, have early taken an editorial chair, would 
have given him, I think, a distinguished position. But he 
seems to have lacked, with all his spirit of enterprise, and the 
quickness and observing tendency of his mind, certain qualities 
of prudence and calculation, so essential in money matters, and 
to the success of a merchant. He was honest and upright in a 
peculiar degree. But wanting the balancing presence of the 
qualifications I have named, he needed at any rate to be con- 
stantly under the personal influence of those who possessed 
them. So long as he Wcis so, his real abilities could be turned to 

♦Author's Note.— One of these houses was bought of him by Captain Car>-1 late in 
1808 or early m 1S09, and into it the family moved from the one on the Terrace already 
mentioned ; removing the same year into the red frame house on the northeast corner 
of Washington and Exchange Streets, where the Commercial Buildings now stand^, 
then the property of the widow of Jack Johnston, a daughter of Judge Barker. I'pon 
this site, Jacob A. Barker and his brother afterward built the brick house lately torn 
down to njake place for the Commercial liuiidings. Here was born the fdth child and 
fourth son of Benjamin Caryl, William \'oung, September j, 1S09, who died two years 
afterward. " ' 

Note.— The Commercial Buildings, afterwards named the Wasliinglon Block, 
now the Matthe\\s Building.— Kd. 



good account. But when separate in place and left to act alone, 
on his own unaided responsibility, results less favorable were 
liable to follow. 

However, Mr. Storrs did go into business, in the partnership 
that was formed, as I have recorded. And the business pros- 
pered — still being largely that in which Samuel Pratt, Sr., had 
led the way, and prepared for which Samuel Pratt, Jr., had come 
on from Vermont : the buying and sending forward of furs, had 
in exchange for goods, from the Indians. But gradually this 
grew to be of different character, as the white population 
increased and the settlement enlarged, taking on the character 
more and more of a trading place for the civilized inhabitants 
of a thriving village and vicinity. 

Mr. Pratt remained only a short time in the new firm. In 
March, 1810, he received the office of sheriff of Niagara County, 
and thereupon or soon thereafter, retired from the firm of Juba 
Storrs «Sc Co. that he might more satisfactorily discharge the 
duties of his office.* 

A letter of Juba Storrs, under date of July 21, 1810, gives 
interesting information as to the doings of the firm of Juba 
Storrs & Co., now consisting of himself and Captain Caryl. 
They are engaged in purchasing real estate with buildings, and 
even erecting a suitable building for their increasing business. 
Says Mr. Storrs: "My partner nor myself have been able to 
obtain from EUicott a well-situated village lot." EUicott's 
extreme reluctance and caution as to selling lots are well-known 
to readers of Buffalo history. -'Caryl contracted for a lot,"t 
("contracted " being a technical term in that day for a species of 
])reliminary purchase), "with a house sufficient for a store, for 

♦Authors Note. — The understanding: of Mr. Lucius Storrs has always been that 
Mr. Pratt was in the firm till 181 1, not long; before he entered it, but the foregoing: is the 
account as gathered by Mr. Letchworth ; and Mr. Lucius Storrs, accurate as he 
usually is. can arTord to be mistaken in a matter merely of Iwarsay—'twch as this; and 
this change is shown to have taken place before July 21, 1810— and probably sonie lime 
before, by a letter of Juba Storrs to his father, of that dale, in which he says : " My 
partner'' (not partners r "nor vixsrlf," and immediately mentions .Mr. Ciuy! as the 
one concerned with him in partnership transactions. Mr. Pratt was in company with 
his brother-in-law, Elijah Leech, and was doins a in Bullalo at the 
time of the burning o\ the village in 1813. 

fOn the site of the old Pearl Street rink, afterwards Cutler's Uirniture warerooms, 
now a vacant tract used as a short-cut trom Pearl Street to the City Hall.— En. 


$500. These are the best we could get. For this I suppose we 
could get $600, if we did not think the rise would be something 
handsome within a short time." 1 presume that it might vot be 
difficult to realize somewhat more than $600 for that lot today l"-- 
''But," adds Mr. Storrs, "it is not as eligible a stand as that 
we now occupy" — the one before mentioned, on Crow Street — 
*'and have contracted for at $400 — and on which we are now 
building." This was the whole of lot No. 2. "Both these 
lots," adds Mr. Storrs, "are said to be well bought, and the 
payments are made [payable] in such a way that I think we shall 
be able to get along with them, and keep both lots till the rise 
may induce us to dispose of one or both." 

Of still a third lot Mr. Storrs thus speaks : " The lot which we 
have got today, is a very eligible situation for business, and is 
one that we have before tried to get, but without success ; and is 
said to be well bought. Either lot, with the house, one on each, 
will give us fourteen per cent, on a rent. This lot and house I 
think I shall keep in my J own name. Could we have got it a 
month ago, we should not have attempted to build at present, 
but we have now progressed so far that we must go on." 

This lot was situated on Main Street, west side, the next but 
one, as the lots were then divided, just south of what in later 
days was opened as Court Street, being where the Eagle Tavern 
afterwards stood. In 1813, the two last-named lots, as well as 
the first one, are all found standing in the individual name of 
Juba Storrs. 

Not far from July i, 1810, the firm broke ground on their 
lot, corner of Onondaga and Crow Streets, for a new store. It 
was substantially built of brick, two stories in height, the front 
on Crow, the side on Onondaga Street. It was rapidly for- 
warded so as to be occupied in the lower story, but was not 
entirely finished till 181 1 ; and when Lucius Storrs arrived, that 
year in August, the scatToldings were up and Dan Bristol and* 
Geo. Keith were busily at work in finishing the building. 

This was not, as has been sometimes stated, the first hick 

♦Author's Notk.— From the Johnson house before mentioned Mr. Caryl .ifier- 
ward moved his family into the " house sufficient for a store," mentioned above, and 
there Alexander Hamilton Caryl, the sixth cliild and third >;on, wa-^ born. 


building erected here. But it was without question the second 
one, and by all odds the largest. The first one, the date of the 
erection of which I do not know, was a small building, just 
south of what is now Court Street, still standing in 1813. It 
was owned by a Mr, Atwater of Canandaigua, and when 
Townsend & Coit came to Buffalo, in 181 1, they at first occupied 
it for their business, before they secured better accommodations 
on the southwest corner of Main and Swan Streets. 

After the new store was built, the firm still occupied their 
adjoining framed one as a place for storage ; and even when 
their*buildings were consumed at the burning of Buffalo, there 
were in the old one a quantity of United States muskets in store, 
which were destroyed by the flames, and so did not fall into the 
enemy's hands. 

But the enterprising company having thus established and 
enlarged their business here, together and individually, having 
purchased real estate at several eligible points in the village, and 
erected their commodious brick store, were not content with 
such achievements. They began to extend their bounds ; and 
other business centers — first in Canada, afterwards other 
points — became the scene of their operations. 

In Canada were established two branch stores. Of these the 
earliest established was at Townsend, near Long Point, where 
Mr. Caryl had made his business beginning in 1804. This was 
established before 181 1, but how early I cannot ascertain. The 
other was at Brantford on Grand River, the store being within a 
stone's throw of the house of Brant, the Indian Chief. This one 
was commenced in January, i8ii. 

The Canada business was in the immediate charge of Mr. 
Ezekiel Foster* — who was' the foreign partner of the firm in His 
Majesty's dominions. I do not know when he entered into this 
relation, but when the Brantford store was stocked he was 
already in care of the Townsend store. 

In regard to the Brantford store, in its beginning, and the 
progress of both the Canada stores,- 1 have know ledge from Zenas 

*.\uthor's Notk. — I should be glad to be able to say more than I can from present 
knowledge about Mr. Foster. He was a nephew of Mrs. Dr. Chapiji, a cousin there- 
fore, of Mrs. Thaddeus Weed of our city, but more than this, except simply as to his 
connection with the firm business, I cannot ascertain. 


Ward Barker, Esq.* (dated April 15, 1873, ^^id January 10, 
1874), who was clerk for the firm at both places. Mr. Barker 
says : 

In January, 1811, I went with iMr. B. Caryl of the firm of Juba Storrs .;v: 
Co., to Brantford, in Canada, taking a small lot of goods for the purpose ot' 
trade. At the end of five months, Mr. Foster, interested with the firm in trade 
at another point in Canada, came to Brantford and took charge of the business 
there, and entered largely into the manufacture of whiskey. I then returned 
to Buffalo. t Some time in July of that year L again left Buffalo with a boat- 
load of goods for Townsend, where I remained until June following. i Of his 
leaving Townsend I shall speak presently. He boarded at Townsend, having 
withal rather hard and rough fare, with one Philip Sovereign — one of two 
brothers, being a family of New Jersey refugees who in the Revolution had 
been identified with the disloyalty that manifested itself in that little State and 
had left their country for their country's good. Of the fare Mr. Storrs has a 
distinct remembrance — being when afterwards he had business occasion to visit 
Mr. Barker, in the way of choosing bread and milk as the simplest article of 
food and not liable to be injured in cooking or amalgamated with undesirable 
foreign substances. 

Matters were situated then as I have described, in the early 
part of the year 1811, and went on till the middle of the year, 
the firm business progressing well at the three points — Buflalu. 
Townsend and Brantford — when, on the 28th of August, iSii. 
another partner comes to view in the person of Mr. Luciiv> 
Storrs. § 

He was born June 23, 1789. in Mansfield, Conn., being tlie 
sixth child and fourth son of Dan Storrs, already named. Hi^ 
life, till he was 15 xears of age, was spent in his native place. It 
needs not historv to make it sure to tliose who have krxown him 

*Ai_"thor's Note. — Eldest son of Jiidi^e Zeiias Barker whose tavorii on the hank 
where is now the Terrace, and Just where that corners with Main Street, was at a 
very early day a hospitable place of entertainment for man ami beast. TheatTable and 
hospitable lady of our respected pt^esident, (). G. Steele, Esq., is a granddaughter of 
Judge Barker, her motl\er ha\ injj been his daughter, Capt. Hull of the army of iSir. 
Jacob A. Barker, long a respected citizen of Butfalo, was a son of Judge Barker, an 1 
other daughters were Mrs. .Ntajor John G. Camp, Mrs. Johnston, wife of the son o' 
Capt. William Johnston, already spoken of at length, and Mrs. Lyon. Zenas War 1* 
Barker, always known simply as Ward B., who I said is Judge Barker's eldest son. 
now lives in Sandusky, O., ami to his letters in ready response to mine of enquiry. I 
am greatly indebted for the means of filling sonve important gaps and corroborating 
information from other sources in a very saliifactor>' mant^er for the purposes of this 

tMay, iSii. tiSiJ. 

?.\uthor's Xotk.— General Storrs was alive and present at both meetings ai 
which the two parts of this paper were reatl. 


in later life — even to the present time, when his more than four- 
score years sit so lightly upon him — that harmless fun and play- 
ful uninjurious mischief were not lacking as elements in his child- 
ish and youthful character and life. From a child he attended 
the district school near home ; and it can hardly be but that one 
whose writing, reading, spelling and conversation as a man were 
so accurate and intelligent as his, made good use of his opi^or- 
tunities, in those early days, as he did not, like his elder brothers 
Zalmon, who graduated at Yale, and Juba, who graduated at 
Middlebury College, enjoy the benefit of a so-called academic 

In one respect he from the earliest years manifested marked 
ability and exercised useful and entertaining gifts. He had a 
remarkably sweet and sympathetic voice of exceptional compass, 
and was in every way quite musically inclined, so that when very 
young he had made good proficiency in singing, and playing on 
the — 'twas not then softened into violin— but on Xkit fiddle; and 
these gifts he exercised in very early years in the village choir — 
singing, yes and (oh ye shades of Mansfield's lang syne Chris- 
tians, rise and tell us if we are mistaken), on occasion fiddling 
too, in church, upon the Sabbath. In 1804, after he was 15 
years old, he was sent to Litchfield, Conn., to school. Here he 
was in the family of his brother-in-law, Osias Seymour. Mr. 
Storrs once told me, with a henrty laugh at himself, across the 
seventy years that intervened between boy and patriarch, how he 
felt when riding home on a time, with a side-saddle, a horse on 
which his sister had just come to Litchfield, he passed through 
Hartford and ran the gauntlet of the sharp eyes of the boys of 
that town, all too ready to find material for ridicule for riding 
thus so nearly after woman fashion. 

The winter of 1S05-6 found him again at Litchfield at school, 
and hearing with ineffaceable effect the powerhil sermons of 
Lyman Beecher, then |)astor in that village. In 1S06 he was at 
home again, and a new store having been erected by his father, 
helping to move in the goods. Next-winter, 1806-7, was spent 
again at school in Litchfield. These several mentions of 
Litchfield call up the tact that while Mr. Storrs was there at 
school, his nephew, Origen Storrs Seymour, was born — who served 


with peculiar honor on the Supreme bench of the State of Con- 
necticut. He always regarded his uncle Lucius with peculiar 

The winter of 1807-S he spent at school at Lebanon, Conn. In 
the winter of 1808-9 he was in Colchester Academy. In 1809-10 
he taught school — but when I tell you where, you may well think 
it strange, for it was at Bedlam. I find, however, that it was not 
among lunatics that his gifts were exercised, but upon sharp, bright, 
active Yankee boys. The next winter, iSio-ii, he tried his peda- 
gogic gifts upon the lads of Mansfield. 

That winter, however, the sphere of his activities began de- 
cidedly to enlarge. He narrowly escaped going to Lisbon, 
thus: His older brother, Zalmon, and another man packed provi- 
sions with the view of sending them to that city and desired 
Lucius to go with them as supercargo; but his father would not 
consent, and the whole project was therefore abandoned. The 
goods were taken to Newport instead, Zalmon himself accom- 
panying them. 

But Lucius was not content to give up the idea of seeing more 
of the world than his circuit of the Connecticut towns had 
opened to him, and so, having saved up a little money from his 
sthool-teaching earnings, he with two other young men sailed 
with his brother Zalmon on this trip. Reaching Newport, the 
two young men and himself went around by sloop to Cape Cod. 
There one of the companions of Lucius left the company and 
went on to Maine, then a province. The others thinking they 
had seen enough of the wide, wide world for present purposes, 
decided to return home. Not choosing to return by water, their 
experience upon which had been quite sufticient, they took the 
only other alternative. They packed their clothing into one 
trunk, lashed it to a pole, and carrying the load between them, 
as we see in the pictures the spies returning from Canaan with 
the immense bunch of grapes of Eshcol, they started on foot for 
home, which they reached in due time. There Lucius found his 
sister Selina and her husband making a visit, and took a seat in 
their carriage on their return for LitchfieUl. Thence he took a 
circuit of New Haven and home again. Then on this return he 
found his brother Juba, the merchant from BulTalo, who offered 


him the position. in the firm of Juba Storrs & Co., as partner, 
which was vacant by reason of the retirement of Samuel Pratt, 
Jr. He accepted ; his father having, however, already in Feb- 
ruary of that year, and later, been putting funds into the busi- 
ness on his account till he was represented there by 32,000 of 

On the 9th of August, 181 1, he and his brother left Mansfield 
for Buffalo. They came by packet from Norwich to New York. 
On getting into the Sound at New London they met a head 
wind and ran back and<lay by at New London dock till the wind 
was favorable — part of a day, as it resulted — then set out for 
New York. Reaching the Hudson they were thirty-one hours on 
the trip to Albany from New York, on one of the first steam- 
boats that plied between the two cities. They sto])ped in 
Albany and bought goods, and then by five days' "staging" 
made their journey to Buffalo. Here they arrived August 28, 
181 1, having been nineteen days in all on the way. 

Having thus assumed the final form by the addition of Mr. 
Lucius Storrs as a partner, the firm of Juba Storrs & Co., grow- 
ing and flourishing, resolved to enlarge their borders, and at 
first proposed to hire, but finally bought, the fine mill privilege 
and mills on Eleven-Mile Creek. 

As far back as 1805, as Mrs. Mather relates, she and her hus- 
band, David Mather, moved from Batavia to Eleven-Mile Creek. 
Already there were an old saw-mill and grist-mill on a fine water 
power; and Jonas Williams, a brother-in-law of Andrew EUicott, 
then a young man, had taken up 300 acres of land from the 
Holland Land Co. and purchased the old mills and water power. 
When Mr. Mather came, he was rebuilding the mills and com- 
mencing to farm his land. He afterwards gave a man a water 
privilege for a cloth establishment. For two years, Mrs. Mather 
writes, she was the only woman in the place, and kept house 
for Mr. Williams. 

.\11 this property, with the improvements, except a homestead 
which Mr. Williams reserved, Juba Stojrs ^^ Co. purchased tor 
$15,000. They at once built another mill and put up a black- 
smith shop, distillery, ashery and store, increasing the value of 
the whole to $25,000, and called the name of the place, thus 


enlarged, after the name of its original founder — Williamsville. 

In June, 1812, Mr. Caryl, selling his house (back of the 
First Church site) to Gen. Potter, removed to Williamsville with 
his family to take charge of the business there. 

Meanwhile Lucius Storrs was backward and forward between 
this side and Canada, and between the two stores in Canada, 
to attend to things generally, being the }oungest, and judging 
from his present activity, probably the spryest of the partners. 

In Canada, it will be remembered, Ezekiel Foster was the 
partner in charge, with Carlton Fox as clerk at Brantford, and 
Z. W. Barker at Townsend. A change becoming desirable in 
the disposal of the forces of the firm, since the Williamsville 
enterprise had been undertaken, Lucius Storrs went to Brantford 
in the spring of 181 2, on horseback, and Fox rode the horse to 
Buffalo, and took a position as clerk in the store there. The 
arrangement was that Jacob A. Barker — a younger brother of Z. 
W., then a clerk in the Buffalo store — should come to Brantford 
and take Fox's place. But he was to cross over to Long Point 
in a schooner, and so, by way of Townsend, come to Brantford. 

Just at this time, however, early in June, 1S12, Z. W. Barker 
wished to visit his home, consummate an arrangement for part- 
nership, and return to Townsend. Jacob A. accordingly delayed 
his arrival at Brantford, by taking Z. W.'s place at Townsend 
during his absence. 

But on the 19th of June, before Z. W. Barker was out of the 
country, war was declared — and he did not return to Canada, 
when once out of the country, either as partner or in any other 

Meanwhile Lucius Storrs was at Brantford, anxiously await- 
ing J. A. Barker's arrival. Soon, however, feeling the political 
atmosphere becoming -'too hot to be comtbrtable," he deter- 
mined to wait no longer for the tardy Jacob. He told Foster 
to harness up his horses and start him on his homeward wa\'. 
This was done. Foster drove him to the head of Lake Ontario. 
when he was to leave him, and Lucius Storrs was to get on as 
best he could. After outwalking a band* of traveling Seneca 
Indians, on their way home from a council witli their Grand 
River allies, he came ujion a man holding a iiorse. 


** Don't you want a ride? " he asked. 

** Yes," was Mr, Storrs's reply. 

" Well, then, ride my horse to the Falls and tie him there 
and I'll get him." 

Taking his chances on its being stolen horseflesh, he rode the 
animal to the Falls. Walking thence to Cliippewa, he borrowed 
the tavern-keeper's horse, which carried him to within a mile of 
Black Rock ferry, where he met a man on foot bound for Chip- 
pewa, by whom he sent back the horse to the landlord. He 
then crossed the ferry, glad enough to get out of an enemy's 
country and into his native land. Indeed, the ferry was already 
in the hands of our troops and was run by them. 

The Townsend store was now removed to Brantford, and Mr. 
Foster took charge of the whole business, and Jacob A. Barker 
came there as clerk. But he and the distiller of the company 
soon chose to be Americans in the now imminent conflict, and 
taking counsel of none but themselves, and native prudence, 
made their way down Grand River in a canoe, and then across 
Lake Erie, forty miles or so, to a point somewhere near the 
entering in of Eighteen-Mile Creek, and then to the home of 
the distiller, J. A. Barker going on to Buffalo and taking his 
former place in the Buffalo store. Thus Mr. Foster was left in 
Canada, the sole representative of the firm of Juba Storrs & Co., 
when the War of 1812 began. He remained in Canada through 
the war — with the result which I shall hereafter relate. 

War is a curse. Yet " 'Tis an ill wind that blows nobody 
any good." So it was with the War of 1S12 that good came 
out of it to Juba Storrs tS: Co. 

The declaration of war at once brought business to the 
young firm, especially at Williamsville. They made a contract 
with the Government for all the mill products they could fur- 
nish, for the army, and had work enough to do. There were 
no other mills nearer than Niagara Falls, except, as Lucius Storrs 
with somewhat of poetic license was wont. to say, one that wasn't 
bigger than a coffee mill. Then, in Uie winter of iS 12-13, 
barracks and a hospital were established about a mile from 
Williamsville up the creek, by cutting down trees and building 
huts in the woods. 


Before'these were built, one regiment of troops were cantoned 
in front of Williams' house ; afterwards another behind the 
house, down the creek. On the bank of the creek was a beauti- 
ful grove, and the engineers asked permission to cut down the 
trees, to build barracks with. But this Mr. Caryl refused as 
unnecessary destruction. They replied, however, that his refusal 
made no difference — their asking was a mere matter of courtesy 
— and so they went to work in spite of his refusal, and cut down 
the trees. 

Before the barracks were built, a temporary hospital had been 
established. In the tavern, Gen. Brown and Gen. Ripley and 
a British officer were sick, and men were taken care of in the 
houses of the little village. And the saw-mill of Juba Storrs & 
Co. furnished the lumber of which the boats were built that 
carried our troops across the river. 

Thus, on account of the mills and hospital, Williamsville 
was an important point in the war, and large rewards were 
offered to the Indians by the British for the burning of them. 
But they were afraid of being intercepted and cut off, so never 
attempted to burn them. 

At 12 o'clock on the night of December 29, 181 3, Gen. 
Potter and wife arrived at Mr. Caryl's, at Williamsville, fleeing 
from the attack which was in progress, upon Buffalo. Mrs. 
Caryl got breakfast for all, and soon the Landons and William 
W^alden came. Mr. Caryl sent his family forward with the 
other fugitives eastward, and himself remained to help the flee- 
ing people as they arrived. 

Then he followed, on horseback, to Avon, at the Genesee 
River, wl\ere he procured lodgings for his family at the house of 
a Mr. Osborn, and then left them to return to Williamsville 
for a few days. 

Mrs. Dr. Chapin had, before the attack on Bufflilo, come out 
to Harris Hill, three miles east of Williamsville, where her 
daughter, Sylvia, (Mrs. Holmes) was living. She had been 
confined, and was still very sick. " , 

Louisa* and Amelia y Chapfn were tlAis alone at home in 
Buffalo, with Hiram Pratt, who lived with Dr. Chnpin. The 

'Mrs. Thaddeus Wee.l. fMrs. Chapin.— Ed. 


Doctor had told the children (he having gone to meet the 
enemy) to put their clothes beside their beds ready to put on, 
for that if the British reached Black Rock, a gun would be fired, 
and that then they must get up and dress. 

They did so. Dr. Colton, a partner of Dr. Chapin, then 
took the three children and walked up the creek to Pratt's ferry. 
There they were joined by Mary Pratt (Mrs. George Burt) and 
Anthony Davis. They walked on to Smoke's Creek, and there 
were overtaken by some of the Pratts, who took Mary Pratt and 
Hiram into their wagon. The rest trudged on, on foot, with 
Dr. Colton. They were at one time taken into an ox-cart, but 
found it such hard riding that they again took to their feet and 
walked on. They finally came to a farm-house where Dr. Colton 
expected to find the people ready to start in flight ; but they 
had decided to wait till morning. There the children and the 
Doctor had a night of rest. 

The following morning they started on again, on foot, but 
after a while were overtaken by two wagons, in one of which 
were a Mr. and Mrs. Bronson, Mrs, Bronson being on a bed, 
they being on their flight from Buffalo. Mrs. Bronson was a 
sister of Mrs. James L. Barton. Into their wagons the merchants 
had thrown goods, as they passed through the streets in leaving, 
among which were blankets. Into one of the wagons the weary 
children were taken and wrapped up warmly in the blankets. 
The farmer who owned and drove the wagon was very kind. 
The children had on no shawls, and the farmer said they 
wouldn't look so nice in the blankets as in the shawls, but that 
they would be comfortable — that he had a little girl at home 
named Louisa, and if she was in such a situation as they were in 
then, he would be very glad to have some one do for his as he 
was doing for them. 

Thus they were carried on to Avon. As they drove up to a 
house Mr. Caryl stepped out, having returned from Williamsville, 
and told them the joyful news that their mother, Mrs. Chapin, 
was only a mile or so further on, at a-Mj. Ladd's, so ihcy went 
on and soon reached her and the rest of th<? company. They 
had 7oalkcd in all about twenty-five miles. Louisa (Mrs. Weed) 
was about 9 years old. 


At Avon, John Young, Mrs. Caryl's brother, made his appear- 
ance, and took Eliza Caryl home with him to Whitesboro. 
Mr. Caryl now went on with his family, and at Canandaigua 
found an old house with one habitable room, into which house 
went Mr. Caryl (with Catharine, Clark and Hamilton and some- 
times Susan, who was sent on to Whitesboro to school, with 
Eliza) and Mrs. Chapin with Louisa and Hiram Pratt only, and 
sometimes Amelia. 

The principal of the Academy at Canandaigua was the 
brother of a man who had been sick and died at Dr. Chapin's 
house in Buffalo, and he hearing of the family being there, came 
to see them, and wished to show his gratitude by taking Amelia 
into his school for the winter. This was done, and she boarded 
with Mrs. Robert Pomeroy, mother of Captain Champlin* and 
Robert Pomeroy 2nd. The means required for taking care of 
the two families were furnished by Captain Caryl, Dr. Chapin 
being a prisoner in Canada. Indeed, they did not know but he 
was dead. 

In the spring, Mr. Caryl's family returned to Williamsville 
and remained till the summer, when a new alarm arising, they 
went again to Canandaigua and lived in the house adjoining the 
jail. After that Mrs. Caryl left her children with ''Aunt Young," 
and came on horseback to Williamsville, and then helped to take 
care of the wounded in various ways. One young man died at 
her home that summer. 

When Dr. Chapin was paroled, he went to Canandaigua to 
see his familv, and then came on to Williamsville to see Mr. 
Caryl, to thank him for what he had done for his fugitive and 
needy family. 

In the fall of 181 4 Dr. Chapin's family went to Geneva, and 
Mr. Caryl and wife went to Canandaigua and Geneva leaving 
Susan, Clark and Catharine with the Chapins at Geneva, took 
Eliza and Hamilton and started for Xew England in a sleigh*, 
but the snow went off before they had reached Albany, so they 
returned, bringing the news of peace \yith them, and all returned 
to Williamsville. 

* Coinniodore Champ!i!i. — Ed. 


[=J^The Buffalo store and goods having been burned, Williams- 
ville became the center of the firm's operations ; but afterwards, 
under the personal management of Juba Storrs, the Canandaigua 
store became of leading importance. Early in the war, Hooker 

&: Co., a mercantile firm consisting of Hooker, Oliver 

Johnson and J. N. Bailey, abandoned their business at the head 
of Lake Ontario, and scattered. Bailey and Johnson came to 
Buffalo, and Johnson became a clerk for Juba Storrs & Co., at 
Williamsville. Bailey undertook business for himself in Buffalo, 
though apparently with some connection with Juba Storrs & Co. 
Mr. Zenas W. Barker was a clerk for Bailey, j and in December, 

1813, went with him to Erie, Pa., and remained there till June, 

18 14, Bailey having gone there to establish a store, as a repre- 
sentative of Juba Storrs & Co. In that month Lucius Storrs 
returned to Buffalo from Mansfield and re-established the name 
and business of Juba Storrs & Co., in Buffalo. " The place and 
circumstances of this," says Mr. Bigelow, " are peculiarly inter- 
esting. Widow Atkins, whose husband had been killed in the 
war, and whose house was burned with the restj had at once put 
up a 'little shell' of a place on the same site, in which two 
rooms, a front and a rear one, were made by a board partition, 
not very perfect at that. In the rear room lived Mrs. Atkins 
and her sister ; and the front one was taken by the firm of Juba 
Storrs & Co., as represented by partner Lucius Storrs." In the 
same June, apparently, Lucius packed up the Buffalo branch and 
went to Erie to take charge of the business there, but about 
November sold out to Willis & Fox, and returning to Williams- 
ville shared with Mr. Caryl the conduct of the business there.] 

We come now to a crisis in the affairs of Juba Storrs &: Co. 
Hitherto they have had success and prosperity ; and war had 
only served to increase it. But peace brought disaster.^ At 
first all still went well. Ezekiel Foster, as I have said, had 

* This paragraph is condensed from Mr. Bigelow's more detailed and discursive 
narrative.— Ed. 

tLetter from Barker to .Albert Bigelow. — Err. 

t It stood at the northwest corner of Church and Pe»rl Streets. The late O. H . 
Marshall's former re;^idence stood thereat the time Mr. Bigelow wrote; the Stafford 
Block now covers the site.— Ed. 

§ Peace was declared Dec. 24, 1814.— Ed. 


remained in Canada alone, attending to the business of the firm 
concentrated at Brantford. He had kept at work busily, against 
all discouragements. He was drafted for the British army, but 
absolutely refused to serve against his country. He was 
imprisoned on account of this, but that had no effect on him. 
With true Chapin pluck he held out and finally was released, and 
allowed to go on with the business ; and at the close of the war 
he paid over about $3,000 as the share of the other partners in 
the profits of the business during the war, the Canada business 
being thus closed up. Besides this, Juba Storrs went to New 
York and received from the Government about $14,000 for 
property destroyed ($11,000 on buildings and $3,000 on goods). 
Of the claims then put in and paid here by the Government Eli 
Hart's was the largest in amount and Juba Storrs &: Co.'s next. 
Alter five or six claims had been paid, however, the Secretary of 
the Treasury shut down on further payments, saying it would ruin 
the country to keep on. 

Juba Storrs, by nature ambitious and adventuresome, at once 
bought goods largely, at war prices, with this money and unfor- 
tunately very largely on credit, to the amount of over $40,000 in 
New York and Albany, for Canandaigua and Williamsville. 
While he was thus buying, the bookkeeper at Canandaigua wrote 
to Mr. Caryl at Williamsville, informing him of Juba Storrs's 
movements, and expressing fear lest with continuance of peace, 
prices should fall and loss ensue, requesting Mr. Caryl to come 
to Canandaigua and look into the matter. He did so, but it was 
too late ; the mischief was done. The stock was on hand and 
the debts incurred. 

' Gradually, but surely and all too (juickly, after all, for many, 
what the prudent had feared did follow. Prices declined, and in 
the process of time the firm came to the verge of failure. They 
struggled through the immediate pressure, got an extension of 
time for payment, and strove on under their heavy load of debt. * 
There was not a man of all of them who was not the soul of 
honor. This I can say without fear of contradiction. All were, 
besides, gifted with a goodly measOre of hoifcst pride of ancestry 
and name; so while their motives would work to keep up 


courage, the trial to them all may well be noticed as most severe 
and the burden heavy.* 

Finally in 1820 the fall in prices and other causes of financial 
stress brought a pressure upon the firm greater than it could 
sustain, and failure followed. The property of the firm and its 
members collectively and individually was given up to three 
creditors at Canandaigua, Williamsville and Buffalo ; and the 
partners became only assistants in the work of settling up affairs. 

Juba Storrs came from Canandaigua to Williamsville, and 
Captain Caryl and Lucius Storrs, in June, 1820, came in to 
Buffalo and leased the " modest country tavern at the western 
terminus of the Albany stage road," which was the pred- 
ecessor of the well-known Mansion House. It had been in 
the earlier days Crow's Tavern, afterwards Landon's Tavern . 
both before the War and as rebuilt after the War. I have a frag- 
ment of the original register of 1820 on the outside of which is 
still legible the name of '' Caryl's Tavern." This was not, how- 
ever, on the site of the present Mansion House, but further 
bark towards Washington Street, and I deem it probable that the 
name '^ Mansion House " was given first to the new tavern built 
by Bela D. Coe, of which the Mansion House of today is the 
enlargement and completion. 

The apples from the orchard on the six and one-half acres east 
of Washington Street, belonging to Mr. L. Storrs, were taken to 
Hodge's cider mill and made into cider for the tavern, and 
other uses for the establishment were served by that property, 
until it was managed out of Mr. Storrs's hand, as before described. 
Juba Storrs remained but a little while at Williamsville, then 
came on to Buffalo and boarded at Caryl's Tavern. 

[fWhen the affairs of Juba Storrs & Co. were settled, property 
valued at $25,000 realized for the creditors only 57,000, through 
the mismanagement, it is said, of their agent. To the credit of 
the firm's honor, and that of its individual members, it should 
be recorded that eventually no man lost a dollar by the failure, 
for ultimately every debt was discharged at one hundred cents 
on the dollar.] ' • 

♦For an episode in the history of the firm at this period see "The Show.'* 
in the .Appendix under " Documents and Miscellany."— Kd. 
tThis paragrapli condensed from Mr. Ri,v;elow's .MSS.— Kd. 


The very last claim paid was one of $800, on which it was 
managed to make Mr. Lucius Storrs (General Storrs) personally 
responsible. ^ * * * I give this final fact concerning the 
firm history: In 1827 George Weed proposed to Mr. Storrs to 
join S. F. Pratt in taking half the hardware business; Mr. Storrs 
told him how he was situated as to this $800 claim, which pre- 
vented him from engaging in business as a partner. Mr. Weed 
at once said, *' That will be all right," and arranged with the 
creditor to take Lucius Storrs' s note, endorsed by Weed, in 
settlement. This was done, and during the year in which Lucius 
Storrs was partner in the firm of George Weed & Co., his share 
of the profits paid that note and interest, thus wiping out the 
last indebtedness, and finally closing up the affairs of the firm of 
Juba Storrs & Co. 







On the frosty morning of February 5, 1822, a strange equi- 
page turned out of Erie Street into Willink Avenue, drove down 
that' steep and ungraded highway for a short distance, then 
crossed to Onondaga Street, and turning into Crow, was soon 
lost to sight among the snowdrifts that lined the road running 
around the south shore of Lake Erie. At least, such I take to 
have been the route, through streets now familiar as ALiin, 
Washington and Exchange, which a traveler would choose who 
was bound up the south shore of Lake Erie. 

The equipage, as I have said, was a strange one, and a good 
many people came out to see it, not so much to look at the 
vehicle as to bid good-bye to its solitary passenger. The con- 
veyance itself w^as nothing more nor less than a good-sized 
crockery-crate, set upon runners. Thills were attached, in which 
was harnessed a well-conditioned horse. The baggage, snugly 
stowed, included a saddle and saddle-bags, and a sack of oats for 
the horse. Sitting among his effects, the passenger, though 
raised but a few inches above the snow, looked snug and com- 
fortable. \Vith a chorus of well-wishes following him, he let"t the 
village, and by night-fall had traveled many miles to the west- 
ward, taking his course on the ice that covered Lake Erie. 



This was John Lay, a merchant of the early Buffalo, whom 
even yet it is only necessary to introduce to the young people 
and to new-comers. The older generation remembers well the 
enterprising and successful merchant who shared fortunes with 
Buffalo in her most romantic days. Before going after him, up 
the ice-covered lake, let us make his closer acquaintance. 

Mr. Lay, who was of good New-England stock, came to 
Buffalo in 1810 to clerk in the general store of his brother-in-law, 
Eli Hart. Mr. Hart had built his store on Main near the corner 
of Erie Street, the site now occupied by the National Savings 
Bank Building.'^^ His dwelling was on Erie Street, adjoining, and 
between the house and store was an ample garden. The space 
now occupied by the Churchesj was a rough common : native tim- 
ber still stood thick along the east side of Main, above South 
Division Street ; the town had been laid out in streets and lots 
for four years, and the population, exceeding at this time four 
hundred, was rapidly increasing. There was a turnpike road to 
the eastward, with a stage route. Buffalo Creek flowed lazily 
into the lake; no harbor had been begun ; and on quiet days in 
summer the bees could still be heard humming among the bass- 
woods by its waters. 

''This was the Buftalo to which young Lay had come. Look- 
ing back to those times, even more novel than the condition of 
the frontier village was the character of the frontier trade carried 
on by Mr. Hart. The trade of the villagers was less importaiU 
than that which was held with the Canadians or English who 
were in office under the Government. To them they sold Lidia 
goods, silks and muslins. Side by side with these, the shelves 
were stocked with hardware, crockery, cottonades, jeans and 
flannels, Indian supplies, groceries and liquors. The young New- 
Englander soon found that with such customers as Red Jacket, 
and other representative redmen, his usefulness was impaired un- 
less he could sj^eak Indian. With characteristic energy he se.t 
himself at the task, and in three months had mastered the Seneca. 
New goods came from the East by the old Mohawk River and 

*So when this pnper was written but no\vi'96) thf old b^iiik buildiiiq; is owned by the 
American Express Company, with various tenants, and a likelihood of dentohtion in 
'97, giving way to a grander successor. — Ed. 

t From Main to I'earl, and from Erie to Niagara Streets. — I'.n. 


Levviston route, were polled up the Niagara from Schlosser's 
above the Falls, on flatboats, and were stored in a log house at 
the foot of Main Street. 

Up to 1810 the growth of Buffalo had been exceedingly slow, 
even for a remote frontier point. But about the time Mr. Lay 
came here new life was shown. Ohio and Michigan were filling 
up, and the tide of migration strengthened. Mr. Hart's market 
extended yearly further west and southwest, and for a time they 
did a profitable business. 

Then came the War, paralysis of trade, and destruction of 
property. Mr. Lay was enrolled as a private in Butt's Co. for 
defense. The night the village was burned, he, with his brother- 
in-law, Eli Hart, were in their store. The people were in terror, 
fearing massacre by the Indians, hesitating to fly, not knowing 
in which direction safety lay. 

"John," said Mr. Hart, ''there's all that liquor in the 
cellar — the redskins mustn't get at that." 

Together they went down and knocked in the heads of all the 
casks until, as Mr. Lay said afterwards, they stood up to their 
knees in liquor. 

As he was coming up from the work he encountered a vil- 
lainous-looking Onondaga chief, who was knocking off the iron 
shutters from the store windows. They had been none too quick 
in letting the whiskey run into the ground. Mr. Lay said to the 
Indian : 

** You no hurt friend ? " 

Just then a soldier jumped from his horse before the door. 
Mr. Lay caught up a pair of saddle-bags filled with silver and 
valuable papers, threw them across the horse, and cried out to 
his brother-in-law : 

*' Here, jump on and strike out for the woods." 

Mr. Hart took this advice and started. The horse was shot 
from under him, but the rider fell unharmed, and catching up 
the saddle-bags made his way on foot to the house of his brother- 
in-law, Mr. Comstock. Later that day they came back to the 
town, and with others they i)ickei.i uj) thirty dead bodies and put 
them into Reese's blacksmith shop, where the next day they were 
burned with the shop. 


trealand thence south and west to Oneida had been made in the 
dead of winter and chiefly^ if not wholly, on foot. Instead of 
killing him, as his anxious parents feared it might, the experi- 
ence seems to have taught him the pleasures of pedestrianism, 
for it is on foot and alone that we are to see him undertaking 
some of his most extended journeys. 

I cannot even pause to call attention to the slow recovery of 
Buffalo from her absolute prostration. The first house rebuilt 
here after the burning was that of Mrs. Mary Atkins, a young 
widow, whose husband, Lieutenant Asael Atkins, had died of an 
epidemic only ten days before the village was destroyed. The 
young widow had fled with the rest, finding shelter at Williams- 
ville, until her new house was raised on the foundation of the old. 
It stood at the corner of Church and Pearl streets, where the 
*' Fulton Market "* now is. 

You are perhaps wondering what all this has to do with John 
Lay. Merely this: That when, at Mr. Hart's solicitation, Mr. 
Lay once more returned to Buffalo, he boarded." across the 
common from the rebuilt store, with the Widow Atkins, and 
later .on married her daughter Frances, who, many years his 
junior, still survives, and to whose vigorous memory and kind grac- 
iousness we are indebted for these pictures of the i)ast.t 

The years that followed the war were devoted by Messrs. 
Hart and Lay to a new upbuilding of their business. Mr. Hart, 
who had ample capital, went to New York to do the buying for 
the firm, and continued to reside there, establishing as many as 
five general stores in different parts of Western New York. He 
had discerned in his young relative a rare combination of 
business talents, made him a partner, and entrusted him with the 
entire conduct of the business at Buffalo. After peace was 
declared the commercial opportunities of a well-equipi)ed firm 
here were great. Each season brought in larger demands from the 
western country. Much of the money that accrued from the sale 
of lands of the Holland Purchase flowed in the course of trade 
into their hands. The ])ioneer families of towns to the west of 
Buffalo came to Buffalo to trade, and personal friendshii)s were 

•Now the Stafford Building.— Ed. 
tMrs. Lay died Nov, ii, 1S93.— Ed. 


cemented among residents scattered through a large section. I 
find no period of our local history so full of activities. From 
Western New York to Illinois it was a time of foundation-laying. 
Let me quote a few paragraphs from memoranda which Mrs. 
Lay has made relating to this period : 

The war had brought men of strong character, able to cope with pioneer 
life; among others, professional men, surgeons, doctors and lawyers: 
Trowbridge, Marshall, Johnson, and many others. Elliot of Erie was a young 
lawyer of whom Mr. Lay often said, "His word is as good as his bond.'' 
Another friend was Hamot of Erie, who had married Mr. Hart's neice. He 
made frequent visits to his countryman, Louis Le Couteulx. [At whose house, 
by the way, John Lay and Frances Atkins were married, Red Jacket being 
among the guests.] At Erie, then a naval station, were the families of Dick- 
inson, Brown, Kelso, Reed, Colonel Christy, and many others, all numbered 
among Mr. Lay's patrons. Albert PL Tracy came here about that time: he 
brought a letter from his brother Phineas, who had married Mr. Lay's sister. 
He requested Mr. Lay to do for him what he could in the way of business. 
Mr. Lay gave him a room over his store, and candles and wood for five years. 
Even in those days Mr. Tracy used to declare that he should make public life 
his business. 

' Hart & Lay became consignees for the Astors in the fur business. I well 
remember that one vessel load of furs from the West got wet. To dry them 
Mr. Lay spread them on the grass, filling the green where the churches now 
are. The wet skins tainted the air so strongly that Mr. Lay was threatened 
with indictment — but he saved the Astors a large sum of money. 

Hart & Lay acquired large tracts of land in Canada, Ohio 
and Michigan. To look after these and other interests Mr. Lay 
made several adventurous journeys to the West — such journeys as 
deserve to be chronicled with minutest details, which are not 
known to have been preserved. On one occasion, to look 
after Detroit interests, he went up the lake on the ice with Major 
Barton and his wife ; the party slept in the wigwams of Indians, 
and Mr. Lay has left on record his admiration of ^Irs. Barton's 
ability to make even such rough traveling agreeable. 

A still wilder journey took him to Chicago. He went alone. 
save for his Indian guides, and somewhere in the western wilder- 
ness they came to him and told^ him they had lost the trail. 
Before it was regained their'pro visions were exhausted, and they 
lived for a time on a few kernels of corn, a little mutton tallow, 
and a sip of whiskey. Fort Dearborn — or Chicago — at that date 



had but one house, a fur-trading post. When Mr. Lay and his 
guides reached there they were so near starvation that the people 
dared give them only a teaspoonful of pigeon-soup at a time. 
Nor had starvation been the only peril on this occasion. An 
attempt to rob him, if not to murder him, lent a grim spice to 
the journey. Mr. Lay discovered that he was followed, and 
kept his big horse-pistols in readiness. One night, as he lay in 
a log-house, he suddenly felt a hand moving along the belt which 
he wore at his waist. Instantly he raised his pistol and fired. 
The robber dashed through the window, and he was molested no 

Such adventurous journeyings as these formed no inconsider- 
able part of the work of this pushing Buffalo merchant during 
the half dozen years that followed the burning of the town. 
Business grew so that half a dozen clerks were employed, and 
there were frequently crowds of people waiting to be served. 
The store became a favorite rendezvous of prominent men of 
the place. 

Many a war episode was told over there. Albert Gallatin 
and Henry Clay, Jackson and the United States banks — the 
great men and measures of the day — were hotly discussed there ; 
and many a time did the group listen as Mr. Lay read from Niks' 
Register, of which he was a constant subscriber. There were 
sometimes lively scrimmages there, as the following incident, 
narrated by Mrs. Lay, will illustrate : 

There was a family in New York City whose son was about 
to form a misalliance. His friends put him under Mr. Hart's 
care and he brought the youth to Buffalo. Here, however, an 
undreamed-of difficulty was encountered. A young Seneca 
squaw, well known in town as Suse, saw the youth from New 
York and fell desperately in love with him. Mr. Lay, not caring 
to take the responsibility of such a match-making, shipped the 
young man back to New York. The forest maiden was discon- 
solate, but unlike Vioia, she told her love, nor 'Met concealment 
like the worm i' the bud, feed on her damasji cheek." Not- a 
bit of it. On the contrar)-, whenever Suse saw* Mr. Lay she 
would ask him where her friend was. One day she went into 
the store, and going up to the counter behind which Mr. Lay 


was busy, drew a club from under her blanket and "let him have 
it " over the shoulders. The attack was sudden, but just as sud- 
denly did he jump over the counter and tackle her. Suse was a 
love-lorn maid, but she was strong as a wild-cat and as savage. 
Albert H. Tracy, who was in the store, afterwards described the 
struggle to Mrs. Lay. 

" I never saw a fight," he said, " where both parties came so 
near being killed, but Lay got the better of her, and yanked her 
out into the street with her clothes torn off from her." 

*'I should think you would have helped John," said the 
gentle lady, as Mr. Tracy told her this. 

**Oh, I knew he could manage her," was the answer. Suse 
never went near the store again. 

By the close of the year 1821, although still a young man, 
the subject of this sketch had made a considerable fortune. 
Feeling the need of rest, and anxious to extend his horizon 
beyond the frontier scenes to w^hich he was accustomed, he 
decided to go to Europe. Telling Mr. Hart to get another 
partner, the business was temporarily left in other hands ; and 
on February 5, 1822, as narrated at the opening of this paper, 
Mr. Lay drove out of town in a crockery-crate, and took his 
course up the ice-covered lake, bound for Europe. 

Recall, if you please, something of the conditions of those 
times. No modern journeyings that we can conceive of, short 
of actual exploration in unknown regions, are quite comparable 
to such an undertaking as Mr. Lay proposed. Partly, perhaps, 
because it was a truly extraordinary thing for a frontier merchant 
to stop work and set off on an indefinite period of sight-seeing ; 
and partly, too, bec^iuse he was a man whose love for the accu- 
mulation of knowledge was regulated by precise habits, we arc 
now able to follow him in the closely-written, faded pages of 
half a dozen fat journals, written by his own hand day by day 
during the two years of his wanderings. No portion of these 
journals has ever been published, yet they are full of interesting 
pictures of the past, and show- Mr. Lay to have been a close 
observer and a receptive stiurent of nariire and of men. 

The reason of his crockery-crate outfit may have been 
divined. He wanted a sleigh which he could leave behind 
without loss when the snow disappeared. 


Business took him first to Cleveland, which he reached in six 
days, driving much of the distance on the lake. Returning, at 
Erie he headed south and followed the old French Creek route 
to the Allegheny. Presently the snow disappeared. The 
crockery-crate sleigh was abandoned, and the journey lightly 
continued in the saddle ; among the few impedi77ienta which 
were carried in the saddle-bags being "a fine picture of Niagara 
Falls, painted on satin, and many Indian curiosities to present 
to friends on the other side." 

Pittsburg was reached March 2nd, and after a delay of four 
days, during which he sold his horse for $30, we find our 
traveler embarked on the new steamer Gen. Neville, carrying 
1 1 20,000 worth of freight and fifty passengers. 

Those were the palmy days of river travel. There were no 
railroads to cut freight rates, or to divert the passenger traffic. 
The steamers were the great transporters of the middle West. 
The Ohio country was just emerging from that famous period 
which made the name ''river-man " synonymous with all that 
was disreputable. It was still the day of poor taverns, poor food, 
much bad liquor, fighting, and every manifestation of the early 
American vulgarity, ignorance and boastfulness which amazed 
every foreigner who ventured to travel in that part of the 
United States, and sent him home to magnify his bad impressions 
in a book. But with all its discomforts, the great Southern 
river route of 1822 proved infinitely enjoyable to our Buffalonian. 
At Louisville, where the falls intercepted travel, he re-embarked 
on the boat Frankfort, for a fourteen days' journey to New 
Orleans. Her cargo included barrels of whiskey, hogsheads of 
tobacco, some flour and cotton, packs of furs, and two barrels of 
bear's oil — how many years, I wonder, since that last item has 
been found in a bill of lading on an Ohio steamer ! 

I must hurry our traveler on to New Orleans, where, on a 
Sunday, he witnessed a Congo dance, attended by 5,000 people, 
and at a theater, saw "The Battle of Chippewa" enacted. 
There are one or two members of our -society, I believe, who 
would start for New Orleans tomorrow if they thought they 
could see that play ! 



April 27th Mr. Lay sailed from New Orleans, the only passen- 
ger on the ship Triton, three hundred and ten tons, cotton-laden, 
for Liverpool. It was ten days before they passed the bar of tlie 
Mississippi and entered the Gulf, and it was not until June 28th 
that they anchored in the Mersey. The chronicle of this sixty 
days' voyage, as is apt to be the case with journals kept at sea, 
is exceedingly minute in detail. Day after day it is recorded 
that "we sailed thirty miles today," ''sailed forty miles to- 
day," etc. There's travel for you — thirty miles on long tacks, 
in twenty-four hours ! The ocean greyhound was as yet unborn. 
The chief diversion of the passage was a gale which blew them 
along one hundred and ninety-five miles in one twenty-four 
hours; and an encounter with a whaleship that had not heard a 
word from the United States in three years. '* I tossed into their 
boat," Mr. Lay writes, " a package of newspapers. The captain 
clutched them with the avidity of a starving man." Ashore in 
Liverpool, the first sight he saw was a cripple being carried 
through the streets — the only survivor from the wreck of the 
President, just lost on the Irish coast. ^ 

He hastened to London just too late to witness the coronation 
of George IV., but followed the multitude to Scotland, where, 
as he writes, ''the outlay of attentions to this bad man were 
beyond belief. Many of the nobility were nearly ruined there- 
by." He was in 1-Minburgh on the night of August 15, 1S22, 
when that city })aid liomage to the new King; saw the whole 
coast of Fife illuminated " with bonfires composed of thirty tons 
of c \il and nearly one thousand gallons of tar and other com- 
bustibles " ; and the next day, wearing a badge of Edinburgh 
University, was thereby enabled to gain a good place to view the 
guests as they passed on their way to a ro\al levee. To the 
nobility our Hufialonian gave little heed; but when Sir Walter 
Scott's carriau'e drove slowly by he ga/ed his fill. '' He has gray 
thin hair and a thou-htfiil look," Mr. Lay wrote. ''The Heart 
of Midlothian" had just been published, and Mr. Lay went on 
foot over all the ground mentroncd in that historic romance. 
He stayed in pKasant private lodgitigs in Edinbuigh for six 

♦Auric k's Nnii.— riiis must not be confounded with the wreck of the steamer 
President, whu h w.ts iicvi-r hoard from after the storm of March i^^. 1S41. The I'res!- 
dciil of whh li Mr. Lay w i,>tt uas obviously a bark, sliip or oilier sailin^j craft. 



months, making pedestrian excursions to various parts of Scot- 
land. In twenty-eight days of these wanderings he walked 
two hundred and sixty miles. 

Instead of following him closely in these rambles, my auditors 
are asked to recall, for a moment, the time of this visit. Great 
Britain was as yet, to all intents and purposes, in the i8th Cen- 
tury. She had few canals and no railroads, no applied uses of 
steam and electricity. True, Stephenson had experimented on 
the Killingworth Railway in 1814; but Parliament had passed 
the first railway act only a few months before Mr. Lay reached 
England, and the railway era did not actually set in until eight 
years later. There is no reference in the Lay journals to steam 
locomotives or railways. Liverpool, which was built up by the 
African slave trade, was still carrying it on ; the Reform Bill was 
not born in Parliament ; it was still the old regime. 

Our traveler was much struck by the general bad opinion 
which prevailed regarding America. On meeting him, people 
often could not conceal their surprise that so intelligent and 
well-read a man should be an x\merican, and a frontier trades- 
man at that. They quizzed him about the workings of popular 
government : 

I told them [writes this true-hearted Democrat] that as long as we de- 
manded from our public men, honesty and upright dealings, our institutions 
would be safe, but when men could be bought or sold I feared the influence 
would operate ruinously, as all former republics had failed for lack of integrity 
and honesty. 

His political talks brought to him these defmitions, which I 
copy from his journals: 

Tory was originally a name given tb the wild Irish robbers who favored 
the massacre of the Protestants in 1641. It was afterward applied to all high- 
flyers of the Churcli. Whig was a name first given to the country held-eleva- 
tion meetings, their ordinary drink being whig, or whey, or coagulated sour 
milk. Those against l!ie Court interest during the reigns of Charles II. and 
James II. and for the Court in the reigns of William and George I., were 
called Whigs. A Yankee is thus delined l)y an Englishman, who gives me 
what is most likely the correct derivation of tlie epitl*et : The Cherokee word 
canker (?) signifies coward or slave. The \'irgiiiians gave the New Eng- 
landers this name for not assisting in a war with the Cherokees in the early 
settlement of their country, but after the affair of Bunker Hill the New Eng- 


landers gloried in the name, and in retaliation called the Virginians Buckskins, 
in allusion to their ancestors being hunters, and selling as well as wearing 
buckskins in place of cloth. 

In Edinburgh he saw and heard much of some of Scotia's 
chief literary folk. Burns had been dead "twenty-six years, but 
he was still much spoken of, much read, and admired far more 
than when he lived. With Mr. Sten house, who for years was an 
intimate of Burns, Mr. Lay formed a close acquaintance: 

Mr. Stenhouse has in his possession [says the journal] the MSS. of all of 
Burns's writings. I have had the pleasure of perusing them, which I think a 
great treat. In the last of Burns's letters which I read, he speaks of his 
approaching dissolution with sorrow, of the last events of his life in the most 
touching and delicate language. 

The journal relates some original Burns anecdotes, which Mr. 
Lay had from the former companions of the bard, but which 
have probably never been made public, possibly because — in 
characteristic contrast to the letter referred to above — they are 
touching but not delicate. 

Our Buffalonian encountered numerous literary lions, and 
writes entertainingly of them. He speaks often of Scott, who, 
he says, " is quite the theme. He is constantly writing — some- 
thing from his pen is shortly expected. I saw him walking on 
the day of the grand procession. He is very lame, has been 
lame from his youth, a fact I did not know before." James 
Hogg, author of the " Winter Evening Tales," lived near Edin- 
burgh. Mr. Lay describes him as a '' singular rustic sort of a 
genius, but withal clever — very little is said about him." 

I have touched upon Mr. Lay's achievements in pedes- 
trianism, a mode of travel which he doubtless adopted partly 
because of the vigorous pleasure it afforded, partly because it was 
the only way in which to visit some parts of the country. A man 
who had walked from Fort Erie to Montreal, to say nothing of 
hundreds of miles done under pleasanter circumstances, would 
naturally take an interest in the pedestrian achievements of 
others. Whoever cares for this- "sport" will fmd in the Lay 
journals unexpected revelations on the diversions and contests of 
almost seventy years ago. Have we not regarded the walking- 
match as a modern mania, certainly not antedating Weston's 


achievements? Yet listen to this page of the old journal, dated 
Edinburgh, August 27, 1822: 

I went to see a pedestrian named Russell, from the north of England, who 
had undenaken to walk one hundred and two miles in twenty-four successive 
hours. He commenced his task yesterday at 1.15 o'clock. The spot chosen 
was in the vale between the Mound and the North Bridge, which gave an 
opportunity for a great number of spectators to see him to advantage; yet the 
numbers were so great and so much interested that there were persons con- 
stantly employed to clear his way. The ground he walked over meas- 
ured one-eighth of a mile. I saw him walk the last mile, which he did in 
twelve minutes. He finished his task with eleven minutes to spare, and was 
raised on the shoulders of men and borne away to be put into a carriage, from 
which the horses were taken. The multitude then drew him through many 
principal streets of the city in triumph. The Earl of Fyfe agreed to give him 
;/^30 if he finished his work within the given time. He also got donations 
from others. Large bets were depending, one of 500 guineas. He carried a 
small blue flag toward the last and was loudly cheered by the spectators at 

Nor was the ''sport" confined to Scotland. August 4, 1823, 
being in London, Mr. Lay writes: 

Today a girl of 8 years of age undertook to walk thirty miles in eight con- 
secutive hours. She accomplished her task in seven hours and forty-nine min- 
utes without being distressed. A wager of 100 sovereigns was laid. This 
great pedestrian feat took place at Chelsea. 

A few weeks later he writes again : 

This is truly the age of pedestrianism. A man has just accomplished the 
task of 1,250 miles in twenty successive days. He is now to walk backward, 
forty miles a day for three successive days. Mr. Ir\'ine, the pedestrian, who 
attempted to walk from London to York and back, 394 miles, in five days and 
eight hours, accomplished it in five days, seven and one-half hours. 

With men walking backwards and eight-year-old girls on the 
track, these Britons of three-fourths of a century ago still deserve 
the palm. But Mr. Lay's own achievements are not to be lightly 
passed over. Before leaving London he wrote: "The whole 
length of my perambulations in London and vicinity exceeds 
1,200 miles." 

The journals, especially during the months *of his residence 
in Scotland, abound in descriptions of people and of customs 
now pleasant to recall because for the most i)art obsolete. He 



heard much rugged theology from Scotland's greatest preachers ; 
had an encounter with robbers in the dark and poorly-policed 
streets of Edinburgh; had his pockets picked while watching 
the King; and saw a boy hanged in public for house-breaking. 
With friends he went to a Scotch wedding, the description of 
which is so long that I can only give parts of it : 

About forty had assembled. The priest, a Protestant, united them with 
much ceremony, giving them a long lecture, after which dinner was served up 
and whiskey toddy. At six, dancing commenced, and was kept up with spirit 
until eleven, when we had tea, after which dancing continued until three in 
the morning. The Scotch dances differ from the American, and the dancers 
hold out longer. The girls particularly do not tire so early as ours at home. 
We retired to the house where the bride and groom were to be bedded. The 
females of the party first put the bride to bed, and the bridegroom was then 
led in by the men. After both were in bed liquor was served. The groom 
threw his left-leg hose. Whoever it lights upon is next to be married. The 
stocking lighted on my head, which caused a universal shout. We reached 
home at half-past six in the morning, on foot. 

I have been much too long in getting Mr. Lay to London, 
to go about much with him there. And yet the temptation is 
great, for to an American of Mr. Lay's intelligence and in- 
quiring mind, the great city was beyond doubt the most divert- 
ing spot on earth. One of the first sights he saw — a May-day 
procession of chimney-sweeps, their clothes covered with gilt 
paper — belonged more to the 17th Century than to the 19th. 
Peel and Wilberforce, Brougham and Lord Gower, were, 
celebrities whom he lost no time in seeing. On the Thames he 
saw the grand animal rowing-match for the Othello wherry prize. 
given by Edmund Ke'an in commemoration of Garrick's last 
public appearance on June 10, 1776. Mr. Lay's description of 
the race, and of Kean himself, who •' witnessed the whole in an 
eight-oared cutter," is full of color and appreciative spirit. He 
saw a man brought before the Lord Mayor who "on a wager 
had eaien two pounds of candles and drank seven glasses of 
rum," and who at another time had eaten at one meal "nine 
pounds of ox-hfarts and taken drink propi)rtionately "; and he 
went to Bartholomew's Fafr, that mt>sr audacious of P^ngli>h 
orgies auainst which even the i)ublic sentiment of that day was 
beginning to protest. As American visitors at Quebec feel today 



a flush of patriotic resentment when the orderly in the citadel 
shows them the little cannon captured at Bunker Hill, so our 
loyal friend, with more interest than pleasure, saw in the chapel 
at Whitehall, "on each side and over the altar eight or ten 
eagles, taken from the French, and flags of different nations ; 
the eagle of the United States is among them, two taken at New 
Orleans, one at Fort Niagara, one at Queenston, and three at 
Detroit"; but like the American at Quebec, who on being 
taunted with the captured Bunker Hill 'trophy, promptly replied, 
"Yes, you got the cannon, but we kept the hill," Mr. Lay, we 
may be sure, found consolation in the thought that though we 
lost a few eagle-crested standards, we kept the Bird o' Freedom's 

July 5, 1823, he crossed London Bridge on foot, and set out 
on an exploration of rural England, tourings in which I have 
not time to follow him. When he first went abroad he had con- 
templated a trip on the continent. This, however, he found it 
advisable to abandon, and on October 5, 1823, on board the 
Galatea, he was beating down the channel, bound for Boston. 
The journey homeward was full of grim adventure. A tempest 
attended them across 'the Atlantic. In one night of terror, 
" which I can never forget," he writes, "the ship went twice 
entirely around the compass, and in very short space, witli con- 
tinual seas breaking over her." The sailors mutinied and tried 
io throw the first mate into the .sea. Swords, pistols, and mus- 
kets were made ready by the captain. Mr. Lay armed himself 
and helped put down the rebellion. When the captain was once 
more sure of his command, " Jack, a Swede, was taken from 
his confinement, lashed up, and whipped with a cat-o'-nine-tails, 
then sent to duty." The dose of cat was afterwards adminis- 
tered to the others. It is no wonder that the traveler's heart 
was cheered when, on November 13th, the storm-tossed Galatea 
passed under the guns of P^orts Warren and Independence, and 
he stepped ashore at Boston. 

He did not hurry away, but explored'that city and vicinity 
thoroughly, going everywhere on foot,' as he hcfd, for the most 
part, in FCngland. He visited the theaters and saw the celebri- 
ties of the day, both of the stage and the pulpit. At the old 



Boston Theater, Cooper was playing Marc Antony with Mr. Finn as 
Bnitus and Mr. Barrett as Cassius. 

On November 20th he pictures a New England Thanksgiving : 

This is Thanksgiving Day throughout the State of Massachusetts. It is 
most strictly observed in this city ; no business whatever is transacted — all 
shops remained shut throughout the day. All the churches in the city were 
open, divine service performed, and everything wore the appearance of Sunday." 
Great dinners are prepared and eaten on this occasion, and in the evening the 
theaters and ball-rooms tremble with delight and carriages fill the streets. * * 
* * A drunken, riotous gang of fellows got under our windows, yelping and 
making a great tumult. 

A week later, sending his baggage ahead by stage coach, he 
passed over Cambridge Bridge, on foot for Buffalo, by way of 
New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburg, and Erie. 

Once more I must regret that reasonable demands on your 
patience will not let me dwell with much detail on the incidents 
and observations of this unusual journey. No man could take 
such a grand walk and fail to see and learn much of interest. 
But here was a practical, shrewd, observant gentleman, who, just 
returned from two years in Great Britain, was studying his own 
countrymen and weighing their condition and ideas by most 
intelligent standards. The result is that the pages of the journals 
reflect with unaccustomed fidelity the spirit of those days, and 
form a series of historical pictures not unworthy our careful 
attention. Just a glimpse or two by the way and I am through. 

The long-settled towns of Massachusetts and Connecticut 
appeared to him in the main thrifty and growing. Hartford 
he found a place of seven thousand inhabitants, "compactly but 
irregularly built, the streets crooked and dirty, with sidewalks 
but no pavements." He passed through Wethersfield, '* famous 
for its quantities of onions. A church was built here, and its bell 
purchased," he records, ''with this vegetable." New Haven 
struck him as ♦' elegant, but not very flourishing, with 'three 
hundred students in Yale." Walking from twenty-five to thirty- 
five miles a day, he reached Rye^ just over the New York State 
line, on the ninth day from Boston, ifnd found people burning 
turf or peat for fuel, the first of this that he had noticed in the 
United States. 


At Harlem Bridge, which crosses to New York Island, he 
found some fine houses, " the summer residences of opulent 
New Yorkers" ; and the next day '* set out for New York, seven 
miles distant, over a perfectly straight and broad road, through a 
rough, rocky, and unpleasing region." In New York, where he 
rested a few days, he reviev/ed his New England walk of two 
hundred and twelve miles : 

The general aspect of the country is pleasing, inns are provided with the 
best, the people are kind and attentive. I think I have never seen tables 
better spread. I passed through thirty-six towns on the journey, which are of 
no mean appearance. I never had a more pleasant or satisfactory excursion. 
There are a great number of coaches for public conveyance plying on this 
great road. The fare is ^12 for the whole distance. Formerly it was 254 
miles between Boston and New York, but the roads are now straightened, 
which has shortened the distance to 212 miles. 

He had experienced a Boston Thanksgiving. In New York, 
Thursday, December iSth, he had another one. Thanksgiving 
then was a matter of State proclamation, as now, but the day had 
not been gfiven its National character, and in many of the States 
it was not observed at all. We have seen what it was like in 
Boston. In New York " business appears as brisk as on any 
other laboring day." The churches, however, were open for 
service, and our traveler went to hear the Rev. Mr. Cummings 
in Vanderventer Street, and to contribute to a collection in 
behalf of the Greeks. 

Four days before Christmas he crossed to Hoboken, and 
trudged his way through New Jersey snow and mud to Philadel- 
phia,which he reached on Christmas. At the theater that night 
he attended — 

a benefit for Mr. Booth of Covent Garden, London, and was filled with 
admiration for Mr. Booth, but the dancing by Miss Ilathwell was shocking in 
the extreme. The house was for a long time in great uproar, and nothing 
would quiet them but an assurance from the manager of Mr. Booth's 

This of course was Junius Brutus Booth. Here is Mr. Lay's 
pen picture of Philadelphia sixty-three years ago : 

The streets of Philadelphia cross at right angles ; are perfectly straight, 
well paved, but miserably lighted. The sidewalks break with wooden bars on 
which various things are suspended, and in the lower streets these bars are 


appropriated for drying the washerwomen's clothes. Carpets are shaken in the 
streets at all hours, and to the annoyance of the passer-by. Mr. Peale of the 
old Philadelphia Museum was lecturing three nights a week on galvanism, 
and entertaining the populace with a magic lantern. 

It is much the same Philadelphia yet. 

January 8th Mr. Lay took his way south to Baltimore, mak- 
ing slow progress because of muddy roads; but he had set out to 
walk, and so he pushed ahead on to Washington, although there 
were eight coaches daily for the conveyance of passengers 
between the two cities,'the fare being $4. The road for part of the 
way lay through a wilderness. ''The inns generally were bad 
and the attention to travelers indifferent." 

In Washington, which he reached on January 14th, he lost no 
time in going to the House of Representatives, where he was soon 
greeted by, Albert H. Tracy, whose career in Congress must be 
familiar to all of you. 

On the day named, the House was crowded to excess with spectators, a 
great number of whom were ladies, in consequence of Mr. Clay's taking the 
floor. He spoke for two hours on the subject of internal improvements, and 
the next day the question of erecting a statue to Washington somewhere about 
the Capitol, w'as debated warmly. 

On his return north, in passing through Baltimore, he called 
on Henry Niles, who, as editor oi Niles' Weekly Register, was to 
thousands of Americans of that day, what Horace Greeley became 
later on — an oracle : and on January iSth, struck out over a fine 
turnpike road for Pittsburg. 

The Pittsburg pike was then the greatest highway to the 
West. The Erie Canal was nearing completion, and the stage 
routes across New York State saw much traftic. Yet the South- 
Pennsylvania route led more directly to the Ohio region, and it 
had more traffic from the West to the East than the more north- 
ern highways had for years to come. In the eastern part of the 
State it extends through one of the most fertile and best-settled 
parts of the United States. Farther west it climbs a forest-clad 
mountain, winds through picturesc^ue valleys, and from one end 
of the great State to the other is yet a pleasant path for the 
modern tourist. The great Conestoga wagons in endless trains, 
which our pedestrian seldom lost sight of, have now disappeared. 


The wayside inns are gone or have lost their early character, and 
the locomotive has everywhere set a new pace for progress. 

When Mr. Lay entered the Blue Ridge section, beyond 
Chambersburg, he found Dutch almost the only language spoken. 
The season was at first mild, and as he tramped along the 
Juniata, it seemed to him like May. '* Land," he notes, " is to 
be had at from %\ to $3 per acre." It took him seventeen days 
to walk to Pittsburg. Of the journey as a whole, he says : 

At Chambersburg the great stage route from Philadelphia unites with the 
Baltimore road. Taverns on these roads are frequent and nearly in sight of 
each other. The gates for the collection of tolls differ in distance — some five, 
others ten and others twenty -five miles asunder. Notwithstanding the travel 
is great, the stock yields no protit to holders, but, on the contrary, it is a sink- 
ing concern on some parts, and several of the companies are in debt for open- 
ing the road. About $100 per mile are annually expended in repairs. It cost 
a great sum to open the road, particularly that portion leading over the moun- 
tains and across the valleys. 

Taverns are very cheap in their charges ; meals are a fourth of a dollar, 
beds (i){ cents, liquors remarkably cheap. Their tables are loaded with food 
in variety, well prepared and cleanly served up with the kindest attention and 
smiling cheerfulness. The women are foremost in kind abilities. Beer is 
made at Chambersburg of -^n excellent quality and at other places. A good 
deal of this beverage is used and becoming quite common ; it is found at most 
of the good taverns. Whiskey is universally drank and it is most preva- 
lent. Places for divine sers'ice are rarely to be met with immediately on the 
road. The inhabitants, however, are provided with them not far distant in the 
back setllements, for almost the whole distance. The weather has been so 
cold that for the two last days before reaching Pittsburg I could not keep my- 
self comfortable in walking; indeed, I thought several times I might perish. 

In Pittsburg he lodged at the old Spread Eagle Tavern, and 
afterwards at Conrad Upperman's inn on Front Street at $2 a 
week. He found the city dull and depressed : 

The streets are almost deserted, a great number of the houses not tenanted, 
shops shut, merchants and mechanics failed; the rivers are both banked by ice, 
and many other things wearing the aspect of decayed trade and stagnation of 
commerce. Money, I find, purchases things very low. Flour from this city 
is sent over the mountains to Philadelphia for $1 per barrel, which will little 
more than half pay the wagoner's expenses for the two hundred and eighty 
miles. Superfine flour was 54.12 J, in Philadelphia, and coal 3 cents per 
bushel. Coal for cooking is getting in use in this city — probably two-thirds 
the cooking is with coal. 


He had no trouble up to this point in sending his baggage 
ahead. It was some days before the stage left for Erie. All was 
at length dispatched, however, and on February 14th he crossed 
over to Allegheny — I think there was no bridge there then — and 
marched along, day after day, through Harmony, Mercer, Mead- 
ville, his progress much impeded by heavy snow; at Waterford 
he met his old friend, G. A. Elliott, and went to a country 
dance ; and finally on February 20th found himself at Mr. Hamot's 
dinner-table in Erie, surrounded by old friends. They held him 
for two days; then, in spite of heavy snow, he set out on foot 
for Buffalo. Even the faded pages of the old journal which hold 
the record of these last few days, bespeak the eager nervousness 
which one long absent feels as his wanderings bring him near 
home. With undaunted spirit, our walker pushed eastward to the 
house of Col. N. Bird, two miles beyond Westfield ; and the 
next day, with Col. Bird, drove through a violent snow-storm to 
Mayville to visit Mr. William Peacock — the first ride he had 
taken since landing in Boston in November of the previous year. 
But he was known throughout the neighborhood, and his friends 
seem to have taken possession of him. From Mr. Bird's he went 
in a stage-sleigh to Fredonia to visit the Burtons. Snow two 
feet deep detained him in Hanover town, where friends showed 
him "some tea-seed bought of a New-England peddler, who left 
written directions for its cultivation." "■ It's all an imposition," 
is Mr. Lay's comment — but what a horde of smooth-tongued 
tricksters New England has to answer for ! 

The stage made its' way through the drifts with difficulty to 
the Cattaraugus, where Mr. Lay left it, and stoutly set out on 
foot once more. For the closing stages of this great journey, let 
me quote direct from the journal : 

I proceeded over banks of drifted snow until I reached James Marks's, 
who served breakfast. The stage wagon came up again, when we went on 
through the Kourmile woods, stopping to see friends and spending the night 
with Russell Goodrich. On February 29th (two years and twenty-four days 
from the date of setting out) I drove" int,o Buffalo on Goodrich's sleigh and 
went straight to Rathbun's, where'I met a gr(fat number of friends, and was 
invited to take a ride in Rathbun's fme sleigh with four beautiful greys. Wo 
drove down the Niagara as far as Mrs. Seely's, and upset once. 


"What happier climax could there have been for this happy 
home-coming ! / 

Here, since this paper is not a biography of Mr. Lay, but 
merely notes from his journals on the subject of his journeys, we 
will leave this well-remembered merchant of the early Buffalo. 
Let me add, however, a grateful acknowledgement to the mem- 
bers of his family who kindly placed the much-treasured journals 
in my hands, together with a most interesting MS. of reminis- 
cences, written by Mrs. Lay. To this lady and her daughters, 
and to Mr. W. C. Bryant, who first told me of the Lay MSS., 
you are indebted for whatever pleasure the evening's paper has 




Held in Buffalo. 



When I proposed to prepare a paper on the National Free 
Soil Convention I intended to do nothing more than attempt a 
brief history and account of the "actings and doings " of that 
most extraordinary assemblage, including a few brief sketches of 
the more prominent individuals who took part in its proceedings. 
But I soon found that any attempt in this direction which should 
not include a reference to and discussion of the preceding events 
which in the course of a few years had created the condition of 
things of which this Convention was a very natural result, would 
fail to be either interesting or satisfactory. I must, therefore, 
by way of introduction to the main subject allude to some of the 
more important facts referred to, and which in my judgment have 
had and will continue to have a- most controling influence on the 
destinies of this nation. 

Up to the year 1840 the two great political parties, however 
widely they may have differed, in reference to other questions, 
seemed to agree, as by common consent, that the subject of slavery 
should not be permitted in any way to become an element in 
their controversies. On the contrary It -^vas regarded as a 
" disturbing element," an '* exciting topic," the discussion of 
which was to be avoided and discountenanced as tending to 
disturb our harmonious relations with the Southern States. 



The Abolitionists, however, insignificant in point of numbers, 
were nevertheless growing more and more formidable year by- 
year, by the vigor and persistency of their assaults upon the 
** peculiar institution," denouncing it as " the sum of all villain- 
ies," and declaring that the Constitution itself by which it was 
recognized and protected was ''a league with Hell, and a cove- 
nant with Death." 

As against ** these pestilent fellows who were turning the 
world upside down " but in whose ranks were to be found some 
of the brightest intellects in the nation, both parties directed 
their most violent denunciations. 

No convention, whether National, State or county, would 
have been considered orthodox or regular which did not contain 
as one of its most substantial " planks " a declaration of abhor- 
rence of the purpose and designs of the Abolitionists, and of 
devotion to all the " compromises of the Constitution"; the 
** representative men," of both parties, whose mission on earth 
it w^as to enlighten and instruct their fellow citizens as to their 
political rights and duties, whether found in the halls of the 
National Capitol or who fulminated their little thunder in local 
conventions or caucuses, never failed to impress upon their 
constituents a proper sense of their duty to uphold the patri- 
archal institution not only as one recognized by the Constitu- 
tion, but as sanctioned by the wisdom of ages and the decrees of 
an ali-wise Providence. 

It is not to be forgotten in this connection that the preserva- 
tion of the Union and the Constitution, was of all things the 
most important, and paramount to every other consideration ; 
that the institution of slavery, however abhorrent to every senti- 
ment of justice and humanity, and opposed to the genius of our 
institutions, and the civilization of the age, was nevertheless 
protected by Constitutional provisions from interference either 
by the General Government or the people of the non-slavc^hold- 
ing States; and that any attempt towards its abolition could only 
be accomplished by a dissolution of the Union, and a sacrifice of 
all the benefits and advantages wfiich Jiad fiowed "from the more 
perfect union " under which our people had grown and pros- 
pered, and become one of the first powers in the world. 


Very possibly the people of the Northern States in their 
loyalty to the spirit of the Constitution may have exceeded those 
limits which either duty or patriotism would have demanded, 
but the time came when the North was compelled to assert its 
constitutional rights and to resist the exactions and oppressions 
of the South. 

Passing over the period intervening between the adoption of 
the Constitution up to a few years before the annexation of Texas, 
let us dwell a few moments on that most interesting, and in 
its results, most important event. 

The territory which now comprises the State of Texas, up to 
about the year 1835, or 1836, belonged to and formed a part of 
the empire of Mexico, when a few adventurers from the South 
and Southwest States made their way into this territory, under 
the lead of the celebrated General Houston, and after a few 
months formed what they styled an independent government; 
adopted a Declaration of Independence, declaring Texas to be a 
free and independent State " with full power to levy war, con- 
clude peace, contract alliances, and to do all other acts which a 
free and independent State might of right do." The Mexican 
Government, weak and demoralized by internal dissensions,under- 
took to drive out these adventurers by force of arms ; but after a 
few battles, Houston and his friends succeeded in defeating the 
Mexican armies and took their President, Santa Anna, a prisoner. 

The Mexican armies were then withdrawn from Texas and 
for several years afterwards the people of the territory maintained 
an existence as an independent nation, having been recognized as 
such by the United States Government and possibly by other 
nations. But Mexico did not consent to or acquiesce in the 
separation and dismemberment of her empire and refused to 
acknowledge the independence of the new Government. On 
the contrary she denounced the Texans as a band of marauders 
and vagabonds, refugees and fugitives from justice, " the cankers 
of a calm world, and a long })eace," who had taken refuge in her 
unoccupied territory as mere squatters, and ,from which it was 
her purpose to drive them out whenever her interest required 
their expulsion. 


Such was the condition of things when during the adminis- 
tration of John Tyler, in the year 1843, ^^^ country was 
astounded by the announcement that a secret treaty had been 
made and concluded by the President of the United States with 
the Texan authorities and awaited only the approval of the 
Senate by which the territory claimed by that State was to be 
annexed to and form a part of the United States. As a general 
thing this scheme was highly approved by the Southern States as 
affording unlimited scope and verge for the spread of slavery, 
and the consequent enhancement of the value of their slave 
property. In many quarters it was opposed and denounced as an 
outrage upon Mexico ; who could not but regard the proposed 
annexation as an attempt to rob her of a vast extent of her 
lawful dominions over which she had never relinquished juris- 

This scheme was sprung upon the Nation in the spring of 1843, 
a few months before the time appointed for the meeting of the 
National convention for the nomination of candidates for the 

At this^time the two men most prominent as the leaders of 
their respective parties were Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren, 
whose nomination by their respective parties was regarded as a 
foregone conclusion. 

Called upon to define their position on the question of annexa- 
tion without hesitation and without concert or communication 
with each other they severally publicly declared their opposition 
to the scheme of Tyler and his Cabinet, thus placing themselves 
in open opposition to the darling project of the slaveholders, and 
sacrificing all hopes. or prospects in reference to the Presidencx". 
The result is well known. Mr. Van Buren was almost wholly 
ignored at the Democratic Convention, James K. Polk of Ten- 
nessee being named in his place. Mr. Clay fared somewhat 
better in the convention of his party, having received the barren 
honor of a nomination, only to be beaten at the polls, the 
canvass resulting in the election ^of James K. Polk, whose only 
claim to the -office consisted in the fiitt that he was an avowed 
advocate of the annexation scheme. 


It is hardly worth while to dwell upon the events which 
"followed hard upon" the election of Mr. Polk. The treaty 
with Texas was ratified; andthis was followed by the war with 
Mexico, which resulted in her subjugation, and the acquisition 
by our Government of new territory, extending to the Pacific 
Ocean, including Upper and Lower California. 

The great question then arose as to what should be the policy 
in reference to this new territory. Should it be given up to the 
dominion of slavery altogether, or left open for the operation of 
free institutions. A very few members of Congress from the 
Northern States, among whom were Preston King, Bradford R. 
Wood, Martin Grover and E. D. Culver from this State, Hanni- 
bal Hamlin of Maine, Jacob Brinkerhoff of Ohio, very early 
took the most decided and what was at the time regarded as very 
extreme ground, that slavery should not be extended to or 
permitted to exist in any part of the new territory. This senti- 
ment was very speedily adopted in nearly every section of the 
Northern States, and the party known as the Free Soil party 
sprang into existence, and the work commenced, which resulted 
in the Buffalo National Free Soil Convention of which I promised 
to say something this evening. 

But before calling your attention to this Convention I find it 
is quite necessary to refer to the action of that portion of the 
Democratic party \\v this State which was known as the Loco 
Focos or Barnburners. 

At the regular State Convention of the Democratic party held 
in September, 1847, the question as to the extension of slavery 
became the great disturbing element and resulted in breaking up 
the Convention. The firebrand which was the occasion of the 
rupture consisted of a resolution offered by James C. Smith, now 
one of the most eminent of the judges of the Supreme Court, 
which was in these words : 

Resolved, That while the Democracy of New York represented in this 
Convention will faithfully adhere to all the compromises of the Constitution, 
and maintain all the reserved rights of the States, riiey declare, since the crisis 
has arrived when that <juestion must be met, their uncompromising hostility to 
the extension of slavery into territory now free which may be accjuircd by any 
action ot the Government of the I'nited States. 


The Convention refused to entertain this resolution, the 
Barnburners bolted, and immediately called a mass Convention 
to be held at Herkimer on the 26th of October, when this 
section of the Democratic party committed themselves fully to 
the doctrines of opposition to the extension of slavery. 

This mass Convention was composed of some of the most promi- 
nent members of the Deinocratic party, among whom were John 
Van Buren, Samuel J. Tilden, Martin Grover, David Dudley 
Field, Lucius Robinson, James R. Doolittle, Isaac Sherman, 
James W. Nye, Abijah Mann. Preston King, John Ganson, 
James S. Wadsworth, George P. Barker, George Rathbun, and 
many others whose names are as familiar as household words in 
all political circles. 

Of all the men there present, distinguished as they were for 
talent and influence, John Van Buren was perhaps the most 
conspicuous. He then held the oftice of Attorney General of 
this State, and had been for a number of years a favorite with 
the younger members of the Democratic party. He was famil- 
iarly known throughout the State as '' Prince John "and was every- 
where recognized as the very prince of good fellows. He was then 
thirty-five years of age, six feet high, and well proportioned and 
in form and feature almost the perfection of manly beauty. As 
a stump speaker I doubt if his equal was to be found in this 
State or elbewhere. 

His oratory was peculiar, and such as never fiiiled to gain the 
attention of his audience. He could pass from "grave togav, 
from lively to severe," and in each transition pursue the steady 
path of argument. His speech at the Herkimer convention was 
a remarkable manifes.tation of his talents. Addressing the multi- 
tude as '* fellow Democrats and fellow traitors," he proceeded 
to a discussion of the questions of the day in a speech which 
attracted attention in all parts of the country as a most tri- 
umphant vindication of the i)rincii)les and policy of the 'Free 
Soil party, I shall not attempt to make an)- lengthy citations 
from this effort. I am sure, however, you will pardon me the 
quotation of two or three passages. •Referring to the itssaults 
which had been made upon the Democrats who had taken part 
in the o[)position to the extension of slavery in Congress, and by 
several editors of leading journals, Mr. \'an Huren said : 


In my humble judgment these men have not duly reflected upon the vital 
importance in all its bearings of the question of extending slavery. It reached 
above and beyond the party divisions of the day. The time has come for every 
true Democrat to lift his eyes from the tow-path of party and look out on the 
ocean of freedom. He should lay aside his Democratic jewsharp and listen 
to the notes of the bugle of liberty. He should drop his party pop-gun and 
harken to the cheers of millions of energetic and independent men conquer- 
ing a country and planting upon it a nation of freemen. Acting thus, these 
editors would exhibit an elevation of purpose and dignity of intellect qualify- 
ing them to lecture the Democrats of New York. 

Referring to the Southern argument that there was no power 
in Congress to prevent the introduction of slavery into new terri- 
tory, Mr. Van Buren said the argument was unworthy of serious 
refutation. ''We have," said he, *' followed the Southern lights to 
the verge of the Constitution. If we pursue these will-o'-the- 
wisps further we are in danger of being mired and irrevocably 
lost." For himself, he should rather be governed by the light 
of civilization, by the light of humanity, the light of freedom, in 
a word, if he ''might be pardoned the figure, by the northern 

Among other things, .Mr.. Van Buren found it necessary to 
repel the imputation that the Free-Soil movement was made in 
the interests of the Whig party. He would not, he said, aban- 
don a position which he knew to be just, because Whigs saw fit 
to flock to the same standard, any more than he would fly from 
the fire of the Mexicans because he saw a W'hig reinforcement 
wheeling with his line : 

It is folly to deny that now, as in previous contests, gallant men from 
among our political opponents are rushing to the defence of the country, 
mingling their blood and laying down their lives with Democrats. 

The honors of Buena Vista were shared as well by the Whig 
Taylor as the Democrat Wool ; the accomplished Whigs Cad- 
wallader and Pattersen and the true Democrats and gallant offi- 
cers. Shields, Pierce and Temple, were equally ornaments of the 
army. The conquest of the City of Mexico conferred glory 
alike on the Whig Scott and the Democrat- Worth. " Go," said 
Van Buren, " to Yorktown and Saratoga, Chip])ewaand Lund\''s 
Lane, and examine the bloody heights of Monterey and the 
crimson fields of Churubusco and Mexico," and he imagined a 


careful analysis would detect in each and all of these consecrated 
battle-grounds some spots of pure Whig blood. The courageous 
Whigs, Ringgold and Butler, perished in the campaign with the 
lamented Democrats, Morris and Van Olinda. Side by side with 
the devoted Democrats Tell and Hardin, fell the distinguished 
Clay, and he must forget his patriotism, and shrink craven-like 
from the assertion of truth, who, in face of these facts, 
claimed for the Democrats the entire glory of defending the 
country and its honor in contests with foreign foes. 

Of the proceedings of the assemblage my limits allow of only 
a very brief reference. It is sufficient to say that oi)position to 
the extension of slavery was adopted as the cardinal doctrine of 
their political faith, unanimously agreeing to a resolution that 
" free white labor cannot thrive on the same soil with slave 
labor and that it would be neither right nor just to devote new 
territories to the slave labor of a part of the States to the exclu- 
sion of the free labor of all the States." 

The Free-Soil movement thus inaugurated and organized by 
the Barnburners of New York spread to other States and became 
a very important element in all political movements and combi- 
nations. The movement was very generally discountenanced by 
the leaders and managers of the two great parties, but the spirit 
of freedom was thoroughly aroused and "would not down at 
their bidding." 

The year following, the memorable 1848, was big with the 
fate of politicians in general, and particularly so of that of all the 
aspirants for the Presidency. Then, as had been the case for 
many .years, the main object was to select candidates who would 
be acceptable to the South, who of necessity, must be sound on 
the all-absorbing question. 

General Lewis Cass of Michigan received the nomination 
from the Democrats while General Zachery I ayU^r was placed in 
nomination by the Whig con\entiou. l^oth ))arties ignoring fheir 
old and cherished leaders and representative men and selecting 
candidates solely on the ground -of^their supi)osed availability. 

Throughout the Northern'and Western States these nomina- 
tions were very violently assailed and denounced by the oi)po- 
nents of slaverv extension. Whiirs and Democrats alike insisted 


that they were not "fit to be made " and such as they could not 
and would not support. They claimed that the moral sentiment 
throughout the North and West was left without a representative 
and that as to the political elements of the Nation " chaos had 
come again. 'V"^ 

Mass meetings were held in every direction calling upon all 
lovers of freedom to unite in an extended organization upon the 
great principles of truth and equity. 

Finally a National mass convention was called to meet at 
Buffalo on the 9th of August to give united expression to their 
views and sentiments and to nominate candidates for President 
and Vice-President. Under this call large numbers of people 
assembled at the Court House Park, in this city, on the day 
appointed, all of the free and three of the slave States being 
fully represented. 

In point of numbers it was probably the largest collection of 
individuals which had ever assembled in this country, it being 
estimated at the time that at least forty thousand people were 
present at the opening of the convention. The majority of 
these delegates had come from great distances and from different 
sections of the Union. The genuine down-easter from the 
region of sunrise clasped the hand of his brother Free-Soiler 
who had journeyed . from the jumping-off place in the ''far 
West," while the Northern mudsill encountered for the first time 
in his life the resident of the more genial climates of Maryland 
and Virginia. Taken all in all, very few of us will ever look 
upon the like of such a collection and aggregation of individuals. 

With the exception of the most perfect harmony upon the 
one question of Free SoiL the convention probably represented a 
greater variety of views and sentiments upon every other question 
that had ever met upon common ground upon any occasion. 
The advocates of free trade found themselves side by side with 
the champions of a high tariff and protection, hard-money Demo- 
crats and the advocates of pai)er money and a " rag currency " ; 
the bank men and anti-bank men, the'sub-Treasury advocates; 
to say nothing of the general mixture of Loco*Focos, Barnburn- 
ers, extreme Whigs and half-way Whigs; who forgot for the mo- 
ment all their old controversies and united in their common op{)0- 
sition to the extension of slaverv. 


Notwithstanding all these incongruous elements I venture to 
say that in point of character, intellect and talent this convention 
has never been surpassed by any assemblage of an equal number 
of individuals. 

Actuated by a common purpose, and with a very intelligent 
understanding of what they desired to accomplish, every man 
felt and acted as if he had a direct personal interest in whatever 
might be said or done. The great middle class were by far the 
most prominent element, and as they made their appearance in 
our city, coming almost directly from their farms and work- 
shops, very many of them in their everydayworking dresses, as 
the exponents and representatives of the new party and the new 
movement which was to overthrow all the existing political 
organizations, they attracted almost the same degree of attention 
as would have been bestowed upon an equal number of barbarians 
or Chinese who might have made their appearance in our streets. 

As a specimen of the newspaper comments of the day I will 
give a single paragraph from the Commercial Advertiser of 
August 9th : 

Among the delegates to the Convention in this city are some of the oddest 
looking chaps that were ever seen. Some of them, al)out as verdant as a 
stripling just escaped from his maternal apron-strings, while others look as if 
they could face % roaring, rampant buffalo without being in the least intimi- 
dated. Hats of all shapes and sizes from the lofiy bell-crown, and majestic 
sugar loaf, to the squatty rimless and insignificant tub shape are sported on 
this occasion. A few have whiskers and mustachios, but most of them are 
divested of these appendages. Coats that look as if every tailor in the country 
had struck out a new and original idea for himself and which designate the 
wearer's particular views with more expression than any of the owner's faces 
may also be seen. Unmeiitionables, varying from the liberal bag-seat to the 
scrimpy skintight, with legs both short and long without particular reference 
to the requirements of the wearer, help, in connection with the neat, tidy, and 
fashionably appareled, to make up the variety. Every man of them has the 
welfare of his country at heart of course, and seems to imagine he is the 
particular individual on whom the entire responsibility of the whole farce rests. 

While there may have been "more truth than poetr}- " in 
this description as ai)i)lied to.perhijis a^majority it must not be 
understood that all of the persons in attendance were included in 
this description. On the contrary the convention was largely 
composed of men consjiicuous tor their refinement, cultivation 



and scholarly attainments. It is only necessary to mention the 
names of such men as Charles Francis Adams, Samuel J. Tilden, 
Benjamin F. Butler of New York (whose name is not to be 
confounded with General Butler of Massachusetts, who has since 
played so conspicuous a part in public affairs), Preston King, 
Isaac P. Christiancy, Joseph L. White, R. H. Dana, Jr., Ward 
Hunt, Lyman Tremain, Noah Davis, Sanford E. Church, 
Salmon P. Chase, James S. Wads worth, John Ganson. These 
names I have selected at random from among those who took an 
active part in the proceedings, to satisfy my hearers that there 
was no want of intelligence and intellectual power in this body 
of assembled citizens. 

It was, however, utterly unlike all other National conventions 
which had ever been held. 

In the first place, there were no leaders, no wire-pulling, no 
pipe-laying, no jealousies, .distrusts, quarrels, or intrigues, either 
as to who should receive the honor of a nomination, or as to 
anything else. The great multitude had congregated here in 
Buffalo by a sort of spontaneous impulse without anything like 
defined notions, not only as to what was to be done, or how or 
in what manner the result was to be accomplished. The assem- 
blage in short was a 

i " mighty maze 

And all without a plan," 

ignoring everything,, else but most intensely harmonious and 
unanimous upon the great question which had called them 

So far as there were consultations or conferences at all they 
took place at the Mansion House which seemed to be regarded 
by common consent as the headquarters of many of the most 
conspicuous individuals in attendance. Our old friend, Philip 
Dorsheimer, the proprietor, had the advantage over ahnost every- 
one else in Buffalo of an acquaintance with all the leading men 
in the country, numbering, as I happen to know, among his per- 
sonal friends, Salmon P. Chase, Joshua R. Giddings, Preston 
King, John Van Buren, Martin Grover: Bejijamin F. Butler, 
James S. Wadsworth of Geneseo, besides many others of the 
men who had already become identified with tlie Free Soil 


It was understood that at one of the Mansion House meetings 
a plan had been arranged for organizing the convention, and 
accordingly at 12 o'clock on the 9th of August the masses 
assembled in the Court House Park and the convention was 
organized by the election of Nathaniel Sawyer of Ohio as chair- 
man pro tern. 

Such a spectacle as this convention presented had never 
before been witnessed in the whole history of the Government. 
Forty thousand men of every political order and religious sect, 
combining more intellectual and moral power than was ever 
gathered in a political mass meeting, were here assembled, acting 
with the most marked decorum and harmony. I have not the 
time, nor would you have the patience, to listen to a detailed 
account of the proceedings as they took place from day to day 
for three days, holding evening sessions often until long past 

All its sessions were opened with prayer, and at an early hour 
of each day, thousands gathered specially to ask the Divine 
blessing on its deliberations. 

Charges Francis Adams of Massachusetts was made the 
permanent chairman, and with the appointment of nineteen 
vice-presidents and seven secretaries the organization was 

Then followed the appointment of a committee of fifty-five 
with Benjamin F. Butler as chairman, as a committee on reso- 
lutions and also a conference committee to report the names of 
suitable candidates for President and Vice-President. While 
these committees were preparing their work, time was occupied 
with making and hearing speeches and the singing of political 
songs. I venture to quote a few verses from one that was re- 
ceived with great favor : 

O what a mighty gathering 

From the old free states, 
Of the friends of freedom 

And the tillers of the soil. 

We'llnot vote for Cass or Taylor 

In the old free states; 
We're the friends of freedom 

And our motto is Free Soil. 


Heaven bless the brave Barnburners 

In the old Empire State, 
For their fires of freedom 

Are lighting up the land. 

And the old Whig party's rotten, 

Yes the old Whig party's rotten, 
All that 's left is damaged cotton, 

In the old free states. 
But freedom's fires are burning 

And will soon clear out Free Soil. 

Then three cheers altogether, 

Let the people shout forever — 
Freemen's hearts none can sever, 

In the old free states. 

The resolutions or platform which was adopted, was a most 
able and eloquent expression and vindication of the principles 
and the motives of the convention. Two of the resolutions were 
as follows : 

Resolved, That \ue accept the issue which the slave power has forced 
upon us — and to this demand for more slave states and more slave territories 
our calm and final answer is " No more slave states and no slave territor}'. 
Let the soil of our extensive domains be ever kept free for the hardy pioneers 
of our own land and for the oppressed and famished of other lands seeking 
homes of comfort and fields of enterprise in the New World." 

Resolved, That we inscribe on our own banner Free Soil, Free Speech, 
Free Labor and Free Men, and under it will fight on and fight ever until a 
triumphant victory shall reward our efforts. 

After numerous speeches and song-singing to an almost un- 
limited extent, the conference committee made their report and 
recommended the nomination of Martin Van Buren for President 
and Charles Frances Adams for Vice-President. The announce- 
ment was received with the most enthusiastic demonstrations. 
Hats, banners and handkerchiefs were waved, cheer followed 
cheer, and the nominations were immediately unanimously 
adopted, and after another day spent in listening to speech-mak- 
ing and song-singing, the convention adjourned without date. 

I am very conscious that this paper may be regarded as quite 
imperfect and unsatisfactory by reason of the omission to give 
some account or sketch of the individuals who were conspicuous 



on the occasion. But my limits will not permit. I must con- 
tent myself with the general statement that among the delegatts 
were to be found very many of the leading and time-honored 
members of the Democratic party, who had been its representa- 
tives and standard-bearers in the councils of the Nation and in 
all questions of State or local politics, while the old Whig party 
was represented by men who were known and honored through- 
out the length and breadth of the land as patriots and statesmen, 
and who, in the service of their country, had won honorable 
distinction and renown. Of these men, Joseph L. White, then 
a resident of the City of New York, but who had for many years 
been a distinguished Member of Congress from the State of 
Indiana, was conspicuous. His speech, delivered at the midnight 
session following the nominations, attracted much attention from 
the vigor of his assaults and his somewhat vehement denuncia- 
tions of his late associates. A single extract I will venture to 
give : 

Mr. Chairman and Fellow Citizens: — I find myself, for the first time 
since I arrived at the years of maturity, acting politically with strange men, but 
not stancfmg upon strange ground. Born and bred in the Whig faith, my 
earliest attachments were for the Whig cause and for Whig principles, and I 
am proud to say, I still feel yearnings for my early love, and shall only aban- 
don them witj'i my latest breath. But I am here because I find in the plat- 
form of principles laid down by this great convention, the ground upon which, 
as a man of Northern birth and Northern education, but of National views, I 
have always stood, and by the blessings of God, shall ever continue to stand. 
Up to the period of the Philadelphia convention, it was the pride as well as 
the pleasure of your speaker, to act with that great, respectable and distin- 
guished party, with what I conceived to be a still greater — still more distin- 
guished — still more respectable — head, the man that I conceived to be not only 
the man of our party, but the man of the world, but who, by the foulest 
treachery of pretended friends has recently, by the Philadelphia convention, 
been tossed together with Whig principles, and the obligation of gratitude and 
personal honor, into one common grave. And since that period, I have felt 
that the Whig party as such, has abandoned its organization — that its prin- 
ciples have been discarded, and that that portion of them who assembled to 
perpetuate that work of infamy, have recorded to the world their determina- 
tion to fight, henceforth and forever, as 3. band of guerrillas, devoid of all the 
obligations of gratitude — caring not for the wtflfare of the land that gave them 
birth — casting off all ties of patriotism and honor, for the mere spoils of parly 
and plunder of oftice. 

The gratitude of the Whig party and the affections of the Whig party all 


pointed to one man beyond the Alleghanies. There rose and set the very sun 
of the party. To him all the affections of his party were directed by a confiding 
constituency. Yet when it was discovered that Henry Clay had proclaimed 
no more slaver)- territory, even he, the man that in youth and riper age they 
had been taught almost to deify, they were found ready to sacrifice on the altar 
of their institutions, and they took up and presented for the suffrages of the 
Whig party of this Union, what I have denominated a living insult to the 
intelligence of its members. 

I do not know Martin Van Buren in this contest. All I know is that cir- 
cumstances have placed him in the van as the leader of freedom's hosts, and 
while he is there, and I am actuated by the sentiment of eternal hostility to 
the slave power, I am nothing but a private in the army, bound to fight for the 
common cause. [Great applause.] So much for this candidate, and as for 
the other, I cannot separate him from his father [applause], and when I cast 
my vote for him I shall see standing side by side the substance of the son and 
the spirit of the father. [Applause.] All are merged now in one common 
party. ["Name it I "] It is the " Free-Soil Party." [Great applause.] All 
past predilections and prejudices are to-be forgotten. Here upon the altar of 
our country's truth they must be sacrificed. My attachment to this party is the 
result of circumstances and not of choice. 

When the Whig party was dissolved by the action of the Philadelphia 
convention, I was forced to turn my attention elsewhere. When they sacri- 
ficed that noble heart upon the altar of despotism, I felt the time for action 
had arrived. Henry Clay, as long as exalted patriotism, transcendental 
genius, nobleness of soul, and love of freedom shall command the respect of 
the minds and sway the impulses of the hearts of men, the name of Henry 
Clay shall be cherished with love, and admiration and delight. [Enthusiastic 

Next to this now stands him whom I have fought from my earliest youth. 
That man is Martin Van Buren. [Tremendous cheers.] When I saw this 
man that 1 had formerly believed to be timid, cautious and calculating; this 
man enjoying the universal confidence and affection of the great Democratic 
party, willing to sacrifice all this personal regard and forfeit all this public 
confidence and esteem, and plant himself upon the spot where freedom dwelt, 
and bid defiance to the South ; it was a sublime spectacle — it was the poetry 
of politics — it was the religion of patriotism. [Applause.] 

When I saw it, then and there, on that occasion, did I surrender up all 
personal prejudices against that man. [Applause.] I say, fellow citizens, 
that a man like this deserves the favor, the support, the honorable mention of 
every lover of liberty in this and other lands. [" Yes, yes, he does !"] And 
that we may be able hereafter to reward him with the office to which we are 
all striving to elevate him, shall ever be the effort, as it is now the prayer, of 
him who now addresses you. 

It is hardly necessary to remind you that in its immediate 
results the work of this convention was an entire failure, not a 


single State having cast its vote in favor of the candidates put in 
nomination. General Taylor and Mr. Fillmore were elected by 
considerable majorities, and the Whig party once more came 
into power. 

Judging from mere surface indications, the new Free-Soil 
party had accomplished absolutely nothing, except possibly the 
defeat of General Cass, a Northern man by birth and education 
and whose interests were all identified with the prosperity of 
that section of the Union, and in his place elevating to the 
Presidency, General Taylor, the largest slave-holder in the 
Union, whose interests and sympathies were all with the prin- 
ciples and policy of the opposite section. 

But the work and mission of the Free-Soil party had not 
been accomplished. It was destined to no such short-lived 
existence. In fact the real fight had just commenced. 

Almost immediately upon the organization of the new 
administration, the conflict was renewed in the House of Repre- 
sentatives and in the Senate over the admission of Oregon and 
Califorrwa. The details of this controversy do not come within 
the limits of anything I have proposed to discuss in this paper. 
It is sufficient for my purposes to say that in the end, the prin- 
ciples of the Buffalo convention were triumphant and as a result 
the 650,000 square miles of territory acquired from Mexico 
became forever free. The new territory which the South claimed 
as a lawful prize for which they had consented to if they did not 
inaugufiite the scheme for the annexation of Texas and the war 
with Mexico, was from them 

"Wrenched by an unlineal hand, no son of theirs succeeding." 

The events which during the fifteen years following the close 
of the Mexican War, of such momentous importance, are too 
fresh in your minds and recollections to require any discussion or 
even mention. Beginning with the great Compromise measures, 
of which the memorable Fugitive Slave Law was a prominent 
feature, and the struggles with regard to Nebraska and Kansas, 
from which the name of John Brown became familiar, and 
coming down to the election of Abraham Lincoln and the 
war for the Union which followed, we are able to recognize at 
every step the work which was so well begun in this good City of 
BufI:ilo at the convention in the month of August, 1848. 



And The Constitutional Convention of 1894. 



Of the Buffalo Bar, and Member of the New York Constitutional 
Convention of 1894. 

The development of civil institutions in the territory now 
comprised within the State of New York, from 1609 to the 
present time, under three successive sovereign powers, must be 
traced through four different forms of government. These 
were : (i) The government of the Dutch West India Company, 
a commercial corporation, in subordination to the paramount 
sovereignty of the States-General of Holland, which from 1623 
to 1664 exercised local sovereignty through a Director-General 
and a Council of not exceeding five members of his appointment 
with the approval of the company, under restrictions contained 
in a charter granted by the States-General, and also under 
instructions and ordinances issued by the same company. (2) 
The Proprietary government under the Duke of York, extending 
from 166410 1685, and the Royal government, extending from 
1685 ^o April 19, 1775, these two latt^ under the Crown, 
being considered as one government.' (3) The' Provincial gov- 
ernment from April 19, 1775, to the latter part of 1777, when 
the State government was instituted ; and (4), the State govern- 



ment from 1777 to the present time. An outline of these four 
forms of government and the development of civil institutions 
under them, is all that time will permit us to consider on this 

During the first period, the Director-General and his Council 
exercised local and limited executive, legislative and judicial 
powers, subject to the right of appeal to the States-General, 
wherein ultimate sovereignty resided. On many occasions, the 
inhabitants of New Netherland exercised such right of appeal 
and brought about the recall of tyrannical officials. The 
primitive condition of the people and the absence of conflict of 
property or other rights, for the first few years did not necessi- 
tate much legislative or judicial action. It will not be inferred, 
however, that the settlers in New Netherland were without a 
body of laws. Such was not the case. They brought with 
them the Roman-Dutch laws of the Fatherland, or the corpus 
juris civilis, as modified by the statutes, customs and usages of 

This^dds to the study of our civil institutions an interest not 
found in the study of the civil institutions in any other of the 
Thirteen Colonies. Nowhere else on American soil may be 
found ill operation during our Colonial Period the principles of 
the free institutions of the Teutonic Nations. 

One writer has said that " long before the founding of the 
colony, the inhabitants of the cities and of many communes, or 
townships, in the Fatherland, had acquired a good degree of 
independence, both municipal and personal, and had come into 
the settled enjoyment of various definite and imi)ortant political 
rights. Among these was the privilege of choosing annually a 
certain number of persons from whom the central government 
selected the local magistrates or schei)ens." 

These elements of poj)ular government were transplanted in 
New Netherland and gradually manifested themselves in its 
town, municipal and county governments. IVhmy other " ele- 
ments of a sound and exj)ansive jjolity " were brought from the 
Fatherland and incori^orated into the fabric of the government 
of New Netherland. The Dutch ground briefs were adoj^ted 
and have fre([uently been regarded as valid titles. [See Denton 



vs. Jackson 2 John, Ch. 324; 2 Wend, no.] Although lands 
were theoretically holden of the company, all small holdings 
were allodial and the manors of the province were essentially 
feudal tenures. A system of servitudes, derived from the Roman 
law, obtained in various parts of the colony. Highways laid 
out between the villages of New Netherland were essentially 
Roman roads, governed by the principles of the civil, rather 
than of the common law, as was decided by our Court of Appeals 
in the case of Dunham vs. Williams. [37 N. Y. 251.] The 
same had been held true in regard to inheritances and the 
devolution of property [Van Giessen vs. Bridgford 18 Hun, So, 
83 N.Y. 348], and in regard to' domestic relations and riparian 
rights. [The Canal Appraisers vs. the People 17 Wend 590 and 
-i^T^ N. Y. 461.] For half a century, from 16 14 to 1664, the 
Roman-Dutch Law was essentially the law of the land and all 
the affairs of the colony were regulated thereby. In many 
respects the laws, customs and usages of the Netherlands were 
far in advance of those of other countries. A large degree of 
civil and religious liberty was tolerated there, so that it became 
an asylum for the oppressed of other lands. Its institutions 
were reared on a liberal, progressive basis, and its people were 
tolerant, frugal and honest. It is said that ''since 1477 Holland 
maintained the principle that ' Taxation and Representation are 
inseparable.' " 

This principle was asserted in the "Charter of Liberties" 
of 1683 and adopted nearly one hundred years later in the 
American Declaration that "taxation without representation is 
tyranny." The freemen of New Netherland, who had enjoyed 
the privileges of the Fatherland, were therefore opposed to any 
such restrictions as were sought to be imposed by the Patroons, 
acting as feudal seigniors, with extraordinary administrative 
powers. This system was intended to promote the settle- 
ment of the province, but in operation it proved to be a relic 
or species of feudalism, and rejHignant to the interests of 
the settlers. They were also opposed To the invasion of their 
rights by the Director-General and his Council *and secured the 
recall of the first three Directors of the Province for abuse of 


Under the " Charter of Freedom and Exemptions" of 1629, 
the colonists were relieved from the payment of taxes imposed 
and assessments for ten years, and private or individual owner- 
ship was permitted in lands, subject to assignment by the 
Director-General and his Council. 

This was an inducement to prospective freeholders to locate 
in the Province. Local government did not develop very 
rapidly in the Colony, but the freeholders kept up the struggle 
for it against all the powers of the Director-General and his 
Council. In 1660 New Amsterdam was for the first time per- 
mitted to designate its sheriff. Still, during the Dutch rule, the 
people were not wholly dominated by the Director-General and 
his Council. Representatives of the people met from time to 
time to protest against acts of usurpation, out of which finally 
was organized the Assembly. 

Although it might be interesting to trace the development of 
legislative bodies from the Greek Ecclesia and the Roman 
Comitia down through the German Popular Assemblies, 
described »by Tacitus, and English Folkmoots to the origin of 
the House of Commons in the reign of Henry HI. (A. D. 1216- 
1272), suffice it to say, that the genesis of our State Assembly 
may be traced, either to the " Twelve Men," appointed in 
1641 at the suggestion of Director-General Kieft, by the freemen 
of New Amsterdam at the first popular meeting ever held in 
New Netherland " to aid in the management of the affairs of the 
Colony," or to the '* Eight Jvlen," summoned in 1643 by the 
same Director-General and approved by twenty-eight freemen 
to consider the critical circumstances of the country ; or 
possibly to the ''Nine Men," selected by Director-General 
Potrus Stuyvesant, on September 25, 1647, from the eighteen 
men elected by the freemen of New Netherland, who were | 

known as ''interlocutors and trustees of the Commonalty," or 
*' tribunes" of the peoj)le, and who were to hold courts of 
arbitration weekly, advise the Director-General, and, as a legis- 
lative body, to pass upon all -matters of taxation. Thus was 
conceded the principle of representatwn in the government of 
the Colony. 


A body, known as ''the Tribunal of Well-Born Men," with 
both civiland criminal jurisdiction, is said ''to have existed for 
centuries in the Netherlands." It has been said that "the 
Dutch Administration in the New York Colony, under the 
original and supplemental commissions, partook of the character 
of the government in the Netherlands, which was a combination 
of the Roman parental with the German popular system of 
administration." It is affirmed that " for many generations the 
towns and villages of the Fatherland had been accustomed to 
the government of magistrates elected by their fellow-citizens." 
Such a system was well adapted to the wants of the people, and 
as early as 1650, the General Assembly of the United Nether- 
lands made important concessions that tended to advance 
popular government in the New York Colony, in compliance 
with the demands of the " Nine Men." 

The provisional order of 1650 contained the following : 
" XVII. And within the city of New Amsterdam shall be 
erected a burgher government, consisting of a sheriff, two burgo- 
masters and five schepens (but these were to be appointed, not 
elected). XVIII. In the meantime shall the Nine Men con- 
tinue for three years longer and have jurisdiction over small 
causes arising between man and man, to decide definitively such as 
do not exceed the sum of fifty guilders, and on higher with the 
privilege of appeal." [i Doc. Hist. N. Y., 387.] On April 4, 
1652, the directors of the West India Company granted permis- 
sion " to erect a Court of Justice, formed as much as possible 
after the custom of Amsterdam, and to choose one sheriff, two 
burgomasters and five schepens, from all of whose judgments an 
appeal shall lie to the Supreme Council, where definite judg- 
ment shall be decreed." [i Doc. Hist. N. Y., 387.] In Febru- 
ary, 1653, New Amsterdam was formally organized as a munici- 
pality, with a schout, two burgomasters and five schepens. The 
Court of Burgomasters and Schepens was transtormed into the 
Mayor's Court under the English, and afterwards into the 
Court of Common Pleas of New York. -This was merged into 
the Supreme Court by the Revised CoTistitution* The Burgher 
Government of schout, burgomasters and schepens of New 
Amsterdam was abolished by the Nicolls Charter of 1665, and 


in its place was instituted a government under the name and 
style of mayor, alderman, and sheriff, according to the custom 
of England, [i Doc. Hist. N. Y., 389,] The powers of 
Burgher Government are enumerated in the Colve Chart-er of 
1674. [i Doc. Hist. N. Y., 392.] During the Dutch ])eriod 
the ** Nine Men" continued to exercise important provincial 
functions and was the guardian and promoter of civil and 
reh'gious liberty in the colony. It frequently prevented the 
Director-General from inaposing burdensome exactions upon the 
Colony, in violation of the terms of provincial commissions and 
of the privileges, customs and laws of the Netherlands, where 
liberal ideas, honest maxims, and homely virtues generally 

A very important popular convention assembled in December, 
1653, to protest against the encroachment of Director Stuyvesant 
and declared that 

it is contrary to the first intentions and genuine principles of even,- well- 
regulated Government, that one or more men should arrogate to themselves 
the exclusive power to dispose at will of the life and property of any indi- 
vidual, and this by virtue, or under pretense, of a law or order which he might 
fabricate without the consent, knowledge or approbation of the whole body. 
their agents or representatives. Hence the enactment, in manner aforesaid of 
new laws, affecting the commonalty, their lives and property, which is con- 
trary to the granted privileges of the Netherlands Government, and odious to 
every free-born man, and principally so to those whom God has placed under 
a free State, in newly-settled lands, who are entitled to claim laws not trans- 
cending but resembling, as near as possible, those of Netherland. We humbly 
submit that it is one of our privileges that our consent, or that of our repre- 
sentatives, is necessarily required in the enactment of such laws and orders. 

Stuyvesant' s answer was that *' Directors will never make 
themselves responsible to subjects, and the old laws will remain 
in force." The convention responded that by the law of nature 
all men may associate and convene together for the purpose of 
protecting their liberty and their proi)erty. 

The conflict between the Director-General and the represen- 
tatives of the people grew sharper^ as time went on and materially 
developed the principles of1)opular gt)vernment in the colony. 
The union of Roman paternalism and German popularism as 
modified by Dutch privileges and customs formed the basis upon 



which the grand structure of the Empire State was reared. One 
historian* has said that 

without underrating others, it may confidently be claimed that to no nation in 
the world is the Republic of the West more indebted than to the United 
Provinces for the idea of the confederation of states, for noble principles of 
constitutional freedom, for magnanimous sentiments of religious toleration, for 
characteristic sympathy with the subjects of oppression, for liberal doctrines in 
trade and commerce, for illustrious patterns of private integrity and public 
virtue, and for generous and timely aid in the establishment cf independence. 
Nowhere among the people of the United States can any be found excelling in 
honesty, industry, courtesy or accomplishments the posterity of the early 
Dutch settlers in New Netherland, 

Still it will be remembered that *' negro slavery was intro- 
duced by the Dutch " and that "the Dutch Reformed Church 
was the only one publicly sanctioned," and that although *' repre- 
sentative government was recognized, it savored much of the 
English idea" as found in some of the other colonies. In some 
respects the province was not abreast of the civilization of the 
New England Colonies, although its inhabitants, numbering 
about ten thousand souls, enjoyed a fair degree of self-govern- 
ment and were protected in the matter of assessment and taxa- 
tion. After the conquest of the colony by the English in 1664, and 
the promulgation of the Duke's laws in 1665, and the permanent 
right of control of the colony by the English, which was secured 
by the Treaty of Westminster in 1674, the system of jurispru- 
dence, borrowed from the high civilization of Rome, as well as 
the principles of civil and religious freedom, which had been 
maintained by the Dutch, still existed and it is impossible to deter- 
mine absolutely how far they were superceded by English laws 
and institutions. 

It was agreed that ''the Dutch should enjoy their own cus- 
toms concerning their inheritances" in the terms of treaty 
whereby the States-General gave up control of the Colonial terri- 
tory, but the English law of primogeniture was soon introduced 
and enforced. Upon the Colonial introduction theory, it has 
been stated that the common law and -other princijjles of the 
British system might i)roperly be introduced, and they were put 
into operation. Mr. Benjamin F. Butler epitomized the govern- 
ment under the Crown as tbllows : 

*Hrodliead, Hist, of X. Y., Vol. I. p. 747. 


The Colonial Government, as settled in 1 691, and as substantially con- 
tinued until the Revolution of 1776, was vested in a Governor, appointed by 
the King's Commission and holding at his pleasure a council, consisting at 
first of seven, but afterwards increased to twelve members, and a General 
Assembly, chosen by the freeholders of the several counties. No formal 
charter, like those held by the New England Colonies, having ever been 
granted to the inhabitants of New York, and the act of religious toleration to 
Protestants of 1 691, having been rejected by the King, it was the theor\' of the 
Governors and their superiors that all the immunities enjoyed by the people 
not only flovred from, but were absolutely dependent on the grace and will of 
the Crown. 

Popular rights, however, were not promoted, but to a con- 
siderable extent, disregarded by the Royal Governors, and it 
became incumbent on the people, whenever an occasion pre- 
sented itself, to assert in assembly their natural and inherent 
rights irrespective of grants and prescriptions. 

The first General Assembly of the Province of New York, 
composed often councillors and seventeen representatives of the 
people, met at the City Hall in New York on October 17, 1683, 
and remained in session three weeks and passed fourteen acts, 
the first of which was entitled *'The Charter of Liberties and 
Privileges granted by His Royal Highness to the Inhabitants of 
New York and its Independencies." 

It declared that the supreme legislative power should ever be and reside 
in the Governor, Council and people, met in General Assembly ; that ever>' 
freeholder and freeman should be allowed to vote for representatives without 
restraint; that no freeman should suffer but by judgment of his peers; that all 
trials should be by a jury of twelve men; that no tax should be assessed on 
any pretence whatever, but by the consent of the Assembly ; that no seaman or 
soldier should be quartered on the inhabitants against their will ; that no mar- 
tial law should exist, and that no person professing faith in God, by Jesus 
Christ, should at any time be anywise disquieted or questioned for any differ- 
ence of opinion.* 

This Charter of Liberties has been said to contain the Roman 
legislative system rather than the Saxon, in that it recognizes the 
possession of power i>y the executive, his councillors and the 
people, as did the Roman system. It was signed by Governor 
Dongan, but disallowed by the" King. It will be observed that 
this charter contained many of the principles that are found in 
the first State Constitution. 

*I,ossiiij;'s " Empire Stale," p. 97. 


Various other General Assemblies met from time to time in 
the colony. From 1691 to 1716 they convened biennially. 
That which assembled in 17 16 continued for ten years. From 
1726 to 1737 there were four General Assemblies. Thereafter 
General Assemblies until 1743 met biennially, and from 1743 to 
the Revolution they continued for seven years. The last General 
Assembly under the Crown adjourned sine die on April 3, 1775, 
and the battle of Lexington followed on April 19, 1775, which 
terminated all allegiance to the Crown of England. Occa- 
sionally these assemblies were prorogued and sometimes dis- 
solved by the Governors of the Colony, who usually represented 
"the spirit of the English Monarchy. King James II. rejected the 
Charter of Liberties, took away legislative power from the people 
and conferred it upon Governor Dongan and Council in 1686 
to be exercised agreeably to the " laws and statutes of England." 

Frequent conflicts occurred, but the Assembly was organized 
under Leisler, and permanently restored in 1691 by William and 
Mary in the commission to Governor Sloughter and thereafter 
the principle of re{5resentative government was recognized. 
Tire Assembly boldly asserted the sovereign rights of the people. 
To its firm stand, though not possessing the omnipotence of 
Parliament and subordinate to the Council and the Crown, may 
be attributed the steady growth of civil and religious freedom 
and the establishment of representative government in New 

Judicial tribunals were established in the province as follows: 
The Duke's Laws of 1665 recognized the difference between 
cases in equity and at law. By an Act of Assembly in 1683, ^ 
Court of Chancery was created, whose jurisdiction was modified 
by the Act of 169 1. It was, however, re-established by an ordi- 
nance in 1 701, which authorized the Governor and Council to 
perform the duties of a Court of Chancery. The Governor and 
Council also constituted the Court of l:^rrors. It was claimed by 
the Crown lawyers that the Governor of the province, as the 
custodian of the great seal, was 6'ji£:-^^//r/6'^ Chancellor. The 
exercise of such extraordinary powers" by the G^jvernor, while 
acting as Chancellor and without the assent of the Assenibly, 
occasioned spirited and far-reaching controversies in the Colony. 
An Act for establishing Courts of Judicature was passed in 1691. 


It provided that Justices of the Peace should have cognizance of 
all causes, cases of debt and trespasses to the value of forty 
shillings, and a jury trial was given to either party demanding it. 
Every city and county was to have a Court of Sessions of the 
Peace and a Court of Common Pleas. By this same act a 
Supreme Court was established with jurisdiction similar to that 
of the Courts of King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer 
in England. It had supervisory and appellate jurisdiction over 
other inferior law courts.. By implication it repealed the Act of 
1683, creating courts of Oyer and Terminer. Probate Courts 
wefe established in 1692. It has been stated that owing to the 
expiration of the Judiciary Act of 1691 in 1699, thenceforth the 
entire judicial establishment of the province was continued by 
ordinances, promulgated by virtue of the reserved powers of the 
Crown to erect courts of law and equity, found in the commission 
to Sloughter. 

In the case of Crosby vs. Van Dam, the Supreme Court 
decided that it possessed equity jurisdiction, analagous to that of 
the Courl: of Exchequer [See 4 Doc. Hist. N. Y., 629-633], but 
it did not continue to exercise it. In Forsey vs. Cunningham, it 
is asserted that the Supreme Court of the province of New York 
proceeded according to the practice of the Courts at Westmin- 
ster, and according to the common law as modified by Acts of 
the Assembly of the Colony, although fragments of the Dutch 
law remained and must have been recognized by the Courts. 
Practice in cases on appeal had not been settled and the rights 
of persons charged with criminal offenses occasioned profound 
discussion as to the powers of existing civil institutions. The 
conflicts which fqllowed and the controversies ranging over 
three-quarters of a century, between the people and the Crown, 
prepared the Colony for the Revolution and the assumption and 
responsibilities of an independent government. [See 4 Doc. 
Hist. N.Y., 627-639.] 

On May 10, 1776, the Continental Congress resolved 
that it be recommended to the several Assemblies and Conventions of the 
United States Colonies, where no governmeift sufficient to the exi^jencies of 
their aiTairs hath hitherto been established, to adopt such ai^overnment as shall 
in the opinion of the Representatives of the people best conduce to the h.ippi- 
ness and safety of their conbtituent^ in particular and of America in y;e(ier.\l. 


In conformity therewith, the people of New York elected 
Cr'erates to a Provincial Congress, which assembled in July, 
1776, at White Plains, for the purpose of exercising govern- 
iie'tal powers, until such time as the State Government were 
esiiblished. On August i, 1776, this Provincial Congress 
i^pointed a committee to draft a State Constitution. Such 
cinimittee consisted of John Jay, its chairman, John Sloss 
Hobart, William Smith, William Duer, Gouverneur Morris, 
F;3bert R. Livingston, John Broome, John Martin Scott, 
Abraham Yates, Jr., Henry Winner, Samuel Townsend, Charles 
r>eWitt and Robert Yates. Nearly all of these were then or 
i:iereafter distinguished for important public services. The 
jo-Rrers of government were exercised by the Provincial Congress 
ind through a Council of Safety, consisting of fifteen. Bold and 
independent resolutions were passed by this Provincial Congress, 
-Lzd it is stated that by reason of these and the pivotal position of 
Xew York, affairs were in a more critical condition in New 
Y;rk than in Massachusetts. The courage and patriotism of 
':bn Jay and Gouverneur Morris at this eventful period were 
I.:: extelled by those of the Massachusetts patriots, and their 
serdces to their country were equally potent. 

It has been said that " the symmetry and clarity of the Con- 
st: i-jtion of the United States are due to the pen of Gouverneur 
}'-rrris," and John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme 
C:urt of the United States, first gave it judicial construction. 
A: the time the committee, of which Mr. Jay was chairman, 
*:ec2.n its labors, there was no written Constitution in this 
TTvvince. Apriori Constitution-building has been attended 
•=r:ih ill success. 

The historical development of Constitutional law, while in 
smie instances oppressive and inelastic to reformatory measures, 
:~ ihe progress of civilization, has been adopted by the most 
tr:g-ressive and stable nations of the world. The loss of liberty 
1:: Greece and in the Italian Republics may be ascribed to the 
l.ick of conservatism. 

In speaking of the English Revohition' of 16S8, Macaulay 
5cys : ''As our Revolution was a vindication of ancient rights, so 
:: was conducted with strict attention to ancient formalities. In 



almost every word and act may be discerned a profound rever- 
ence for the past." And the English Constitution is still vig- 
orous after nearly a thousand years of such transformations as 
that wrought by the Revolution of 1688. 

The last Crown Governor, William Tryon, in 1774, reported 
to the Lords of Trade, the existing civil institutions in New 
York to be as follows^ : 

By the Grants of this Province and other Territories to the Duke of York 
in 1663-4 and 1674, the powers of Government were vested in him, and were 
accordingly exercised by his Governors until he ascended the Throne, when 
his Rights as Proprietor mefged in his Crown, and the Province ceased to be a 
charter Government. From that time it has been a Royal Government, and 
in its Constitution nearly resembles that of Great Britain, and the other Royal 
Governments in America. The Governor is appointed by the King during his 
Royal Will and pleasure, by Letters Pattent, under the Great Seal of Great 
Britain, with very ample Powers. He has a Council in imitation of His 
Majesty's Privy Council. This Board, when full, consists of Twelve Mem- 
bers, who are also appointed by the Crown during Will & Pleasure, any three 
of whom make a quorum. The Province enjoys a Legislative Body, which 
consists of the Governor as the King's Representative, The Council in the 
place of the House of Lords, and the Representatives of the People, who are 
chosen as in England. Of these the City of New York sends four. All the 
other Couvities (except the New Counties of Charlotte & Gloucester, as yet 
not represented) send two. The Borough of Westchester, the Township of 
Schenectady, and the three Manors of Rensselaerwyck, Livingston and 
Cortlandt each send one ; in the whole forming a Body of Thirty-one Repre- 

The Governor, by his Commission, is authorized to convene them, with 
the advice of the Council, and adjourn, prorogue or dissolve the General 
Assembly, as he shall judge necessary. 

This Body has not power to make any Laws repugnant to the Laws and 
Statutes of Great Britain. All Laws proposed to be made by this Provincial 
Legislature, pass thro' each of the Houses of Council and Assembly, as Bills 
do thro' the House of Commons and House of Lords in England, and the 
Governor has a Negative voice in the making and passing of all such Laws. 
Every Law so passed is to be transmitted to His Majesty under the Great Seal 
of the Province, within three months or sooner after the making thereof, and 
a duplicate by the next conveyance, in order to be approved or disallowed by 
His Majesty; And if His Majesty shall disallow any such Law and the same 
is signified to the Governor, undei the Royal ^Sign Manual or by Order of his 
Majesty's Privy Council, from thenceforth such law becomes utterly void. A 
law of the Province has limited the duration of the Assembly to seven years. 

*i Doc. Hist. N. v., 511. 


The Common Law of England is considered as the Fundamental law of the 
Province, and it is the received Doctrine that all the Statutes (not Local in 
their Nature, and which can be fitly applied to the circumstances of the 
Colony) enacted before the Province had a Legislature, are binding upon the 
Colony, but the Statutes passed since do not affect the Colony, unless by 
being specially named, such appears to be the Intentions of the British Legis- 
lature. The Province has a Court of Chancery, in which the Governor or 
Commander in chief sits as Chancellor, and the Practice of the Court of 
Chancery in England is pursued as closely as possible. The officers of this 
Court consist of a Master of the Rolls, newly created — Two Masters, Two 
Clerks in Court, A Register, An Examiner, and' a Serjeant at xVrms. Of the 
Courts of Common Law, the Chief is called.the Supreme Court, the Judges of 
which have all the powers of the King's Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer 
in England. This Court sits once every three months at the City of New 
York, and the practice therein is modelled upon that of the King's Bench at 
Westminster. Tho' the judges have the Power of the Court of Exchequer, they 
never proceed upon the Equity side. The Court has no Officers but one Clerk, 
and is not organized nor supplied with any officers in that Department of the 
Exchequer, which in England has the care of the reveime. The judges of 
the Supreme Court hold their offices during the King's Will and Pleasure, and 
are Judges of Nisi prius o'f Course by Act of Assembly, & Annually perform a 
Circuit through the Counties. The Decisions of this Court in General are 
final, unles* where the Value exceeds £}po. Sterling, in which case the 
subject may be relieved fvbm its errors only by an application to the Governor 
and Council, and where the Value exceeds ;[^500, Sterling, an appeal lies from 
the judgment of the latter to His Majesty in Privy Council. By an Act of the 
Legislature of the Province, suits are prohibited to be brought in the Supreme 
Court where the Value demanded does not exceed ;!^20, Currency. The 
Clerk's Office of the Supreme Court has always been held as an Appendage 
to that of the Secretary of the Province. There is also in each County an 
Inferior Court of Common Pleas, which has the Cognizance of all actions 
real, personal & mixed, where the matter in demand is above _ji^5 in value. 
The practice of these Courts is a mixture between the King's Bench and 
Common Pleas at Westminster. Their Errors are corrected in the first Instance 
by Writ of Error brought into the Supreme Court ; and the Judges hold their 
offices during pleasure. — The Clerks of these Courts also hold their offices 
during pleasure and are appointed by the Governor, except the Clerk of 
Albany who is appointed under the King's Mandate. Besides these Courts 
the justices of peace are by Act of Assembly empowered to try all causes to 
the amount of ^5 Currency (except where the Crown is concerned or where 
the Title of Lands shall come into Question : — and Actions of Slander), but 
the parties may either of them demand a jury of Six Men. *If wrong is done 
to either party, the person injured may have a Certiorari from the Supreme 
Court, tho' the remedy is very inadequate. The Courts of Criminal Jurisdiction 


are Correspondent to those in England. The Supreme Court exercises it in 
the City of New York, as the King's Bench does at Westminster. The Judges 
when they go to the Circuit have a Commission of Oyer and Terminer and 
General Goal Delivery- ; and there are Courts of Sessions held by the justices 
of the peace ; the powers of which and their proceedings correspond with the 
like Courts in England. The Office of Clerk of the Sessions, is invariably 
connected with that of the Clerk of the Inferior Court of Common Pleas in 
the respective Counties. By Acts of the Provincial Legislature the Justices of 
the Peace have an extraordinary Jurisdiction with respect to some offences by 
which any three Justices (one being of the Quorum), where the offender does 
not find Bail in forty eight Hours after being in the Custody of the Constable, 
may try the party without any* or a jury, for any offence under the 

Degree of Grand Larceny ; and inflict any punishment for these small 
offences at their Discretion, so that it exceeds \_qy ? extends] not to Life or 
Limb. And any three Justices of the Peace (one being of the Quorum) and 
Five Freeholders have power without a Grand or Petty Jury to proceed 
against and try in a Summary Way, Slaves offending in certain cases, and 
punish them even with death. The Duty of His Majesty's Attorney General 
of the Province is similar to the Duty of that Officer in England, and the 
Master of the Crown Office. He is appointed by the Crown during Pleasure, 
and His* Majesty has no Solicitor General nor Council in the Province, to 
assist the Attorney General upon any occasion. There are two other Courts in 
the Province. The Court of Admiralty which proceeds after the Course of the 
Civil La.v in matters within its Jurisdiction, which has been so enlarged by 
divers Statutes as to include almost every breach of the Acts of Trade. From 
this Court an appeal lies to a Superior Court of Admiralty, lately established 
in North America by Statute ; before this Establishment an appeal only lay to 
the High Court of Admiralty of England. The Prerogative Court concerns 
itself only in the Probate of wills and in matters relating to the Administration 
of the Estates of Intestates and in granting Licenses of Marriage. The 
Governor is properly the Judge of this Court but it has been usual for him to 
act in general by a Delegate. The Province is at present divided into 
fourteen Counties, viz : — The City and County of New York ; The County of 
Albany; Richmond (which comprehends the whole of Staten Island) ; Kings, 
Quetns & Suffolk (which include the whole of Nassau or Long Island) ; 
Westchester; Dutches; Ulster; Orange ; Cumberland ; Gloucester; Charlotte 
and Tryon. For each of these Counties a Sheriff and one or more Coroners 
are appointed by the Governor, who hold their offices during pleasure. 

As to the Military power of the Province, the Governor for the time being is 
the Captain General and Comandet in Chief and appoints all the Provincial 
Military Officers during pleasure. - 

Some of these institutions were ^vept away by the Revohi- 
tion, although the essential principles of the Provincial Govern- 

♦rollowing break as in original. — Ed. 


ment, with sovereignty transferred from the Crovm to the peo- 
ple, were preserved in the new order of things, that super\-ened 
upon the formation of State Government. Basic principles were 
not wanting in the Colony of New York out of which to con- 
struct a form of government. Colonial Law, Provincial Con- 
gressional Acts, the great principles of the Common Law. the 
customs and usages of the people, the civil institutions thereto- 
fore created, and their development through a period of more 
than one hundred and fifty years altogether formed a foundation 
upon which a system of popular government might be reared. 
But it required the skill of a master to fuse these basic princi- 
ples harmoniously, and out of them to forge a new instrument 
that would prove a stable repository of sovereign powers for gov- 
ernment by the people. 

.... Sed qui? custodiet ipsos 

Cusiodes ? 

Wherein were to reside the guarantees oi liberty under law? 
Theretofore popular* government had revealed many infirmities 
and had suiiered many lapses, as might be seen in the proceed- 
ings of tlie Long Parliament and more recentlv in the history of 
the French National Assemblies. Popular government was re- 
garded by many as an Utopian dream. The trial made of it in 
some of the Grecian States and in some of the Swiss Cantons, 
had not demonstrated conclusively its superiority to other forms 
of government, consequently it had but few apologists outside of 

Furthermore, difficulties multiplied as soon as an effort was 
made to ditTerentiate its executive, legislative and judicial func- 
tions. Still the three-fold chissification oi governmental powers 
has come down to us from .\ristotle, who states in his Politics 
[Bk. I\'., Ch. 14. Joweit's Translation] that 

all states have tliree elements, and the ^ood law giver has to regard what is 
expedient for each Slate. When thoy are well-ordered, the State is well- 
ordered, and as they dilVer from one .mother, constitutions ditVer. W hat is the 
element fir>t (I) which deliberates aUnit public aiTairs ^legislative); sexX^ndly 
(2) which is concerned with the magistrates anU deicm^ines what they should 
be, over whom they should exercise authority, and w hat should be the nuxle of 
electing them (executive}; and thirvlly (^;^ which has judicial power? . . . 
All these powers must he assigned either to all citi-ens or to some of them. 


Montesquieu in his "L'Esprit des Lgls ' further ^tlz.'tj^.z^- 
the importance of such separation. The conciirrence 'A .y-. :r. 
of these eminent writers is supplemented by the successfi! ' 
tion for a centur>- of the three- told division c: ':-..-.--, . . trr.- 
mental powers. 

But to erect a Republican form of ^ : - i 

a secure repository of constitutional liberty and col ^ . 
distribution of executive, legislative andjudicia ' - ^^. _. . 
unsolved problem, demanding unusual politic- . .y. !Mr. 
Jay, who was a champion of popular rights, was cncroateii with. 
the responsibility of preparing the original draft of the first Con- 
stitution of the State. This was done in the midst of the Ameri- 
can Revolution while the struggle for independence was stir- 
undecided. The Provincial Congress, of wnich Mr. Jay and the 
other members of the Constitutional Committee were a part, was 
driven from Xew York City and held sessions in Harlem, Kings- 
bridge, White Plains, the Philipse Manor. Fishkill. Pcugh- 
keepsie and Kingston. 

Great excitement prevailed through the T- irt—n Colcnies and 
the important questions of Federal Unity, a^d r^-r exten: if and 
limitations upon State sovereignty had neither "zeez tirsicerei. 
nor had they then arisen. Accordingly, the nrst Constituriir. 5 
silent on many important subjects that have since been prcv-lcei 
for, and it treats in extenso of the paramount questioa of :zr \ 

independence of the State iirom the dominion of the Brl::::."- 
Crown. It created an Executive, a Legislative and a Judicial 
Department in our State Government. Its departure from Brit- 
ish principles and precedents, however, is less marked than some 
of the constitutions of other colonies. In some respects it was a 
compromise with English institutions. 

It preserved parts of the Dutch and British systems that there- 
tofore obtained in the colony. In principle it perpetnated the 
British system of appointment to omce, by creating a Council of 
Appointment consisting of the Governor and four Senators, 
which was empowered to appoint to ofice and rexnove at pleas- 
ure nearly all the civil and mi litar>' officers of the State. It be- 
came one of the most gigantic political machines that has ever 
existed in this State. At one time there were six thousand sL\ 



hundred and sixty-three civil offices and eight thousand two hun- 
dred and eighty-six military offices at its disposal. The abuses 
which naturally resulted from the operation of this system, 
wrought its unpopularity and its abolition in 1821, and have 
since served as a standing objection to the policy of filling 
offices by appointment under a Republican form of government. 
Such a system is inconsistent with the genius of our American 
institutions and is adopted only in exceptional cases and under 
proper restrictions where the appointing power, which is elec- 
tive, is held responsible for the administiation of the office so 

The original draft of the first Constitution ''after affirming 
the sovereignty of the people " was so framed as to perpetuate 
the supremacy of the Assembly by declaring " that the Assembly 
thus constituted .... shall enjoy the same privileges 
and proceed in doing business in like manner as the Assemblies 
of the Colony of New York of right formerly did." The Assem- 
bly was empowered tt) appoint from the Senators the members of 
the Council^of Appointment and to provide for the appointment 
of the State Treasurer, who controlled the finances of the State. 
Under the Colonial 'Government the Council was appointed by 
the Crown, and as the Colonial Legislature was constructed on 
the model of Parliament, no act of appropriation could originate 
or be amended except in the Assembly, the members of which 
were the immediate representatives of the people. In these par- 
ticulars the Assembly maintained its supremacy until 1821, with 
the exception of permitting the Governor to participate with the 
Senators of the Council of Appointment in making official 
appointments, as the result of the Constitutional Amendment of 

The original draft of the first Constitution therefore gave 
prominence to the su])remacy of the Assembly. It also provided 
for a Senate of twenty-four members, which was permitted to 
amend, modify or reject any bill, but it did not have the power 
to originate monetary bills until 1821. As first constituted, the 
Senate was modeled, to some extent, after the Council, and to 
some extent after the House of Lords and not after the Roman 
Senate, whose functions during the Republic were principally 


executive, although under the Empire it exercised independent 
legislative power. [Gaj. I. 4.] Mr. Maine affirms that ''the 
first real anticipation of a separate chamber, armed with a veto 
on the proposals of a separate authority and representing a dif- 
ferent interest, occurs in the much misunderstood institution, 
the Roman Tribunate," to whose establishment Cicero attributes 
the preservation of the Republic. In addition to its legislative 
powers, the Senate of New York, under the first Constitution, 
when forming a part of the Court of Errors and Impeachment, 
also exercised judicial powers. So intrenched in American in- 
stitutions has this bicameral system of legislation become that 
Pennsylvania, Georgia and Vermont have also adopted it in 
place of their original single legislative chambers. In the first 
State Constitution provision was also made for a Council of 
Revision, consisting of the Governor, Chancellor and Judges of 
the Supreme Court, or any two of them, to revise all bills which 
passed the Senate and Assembly before they became laws. The 
Court of Chancery and the Supreme Court were continued. A 
^ court for the trial of Impeachments and the Correction of Errors 
was created, consisting of the President of the Senate the Sena- 
tors, Chancellor and Judges of the Supreme Court. Provision 
was also made for the free exercise of religion, for trial by jurv, 
for the exercise of a qualified suft'rage. 

This Constitution contained a tentative provision for voting 
by ballot, in place of voting viva voce. The first secret ballot 
law was passed in 17 78. The method of voting by ballot was 
adopted in Massachusetts as early as 1634. The Dutch religious 
toleration principle was also incorporated. The original draft 
of the first Constitution was in the handwriting of Mr. Jav and 
was submitted to the Convention at Kingston March 12, 1777. 
It was debated until April 20, 1777, when it was promulgated as 
the organic law of the State, without submission to tiie people 
for their ratification. During its final consideration, Mr. Jay 
was absent and unable to amend it in some important particulars, 
such as recjuiring all persons-holding office under the Govern- 
ment to swear allegiance to it and* renounce all allegiance to 
foreign Kings, Princes and States. He desired to insert a pro- 
vision against domestic slavery and one for the encouragement 
of literature. 


Forty-four of one hundred and fifty-seven Constitutional 
Conventions held in this country have not submitted the results 
of their deliberations to the people for ratification, and neither 
did the New York Convention of 1777; but such a course is not 
usually advisable and would not have been followed in New- 
York had not the times been perilous and the enemy about to 
invade her territory. Immediately after the promulgation of our 
first Constitution, a Council of Safety, consisting of Mr. Jay 
and fourteen others, was vested with the powers of government, 
until the Constitution went into operation. A few months 
thereafter, a State Government was organized with George 
Clinton as Governor, Robert R. Livingston as Chancellor, and 
John Jay as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 

On September 9, 1777, a quorum of the first State Legis- 
lature met at Kingston and elected Walter Livingston its Speaker, 
and on the following day Governor Clinton addressed his first 
message to the State Legislature. General Howe and his Coun- 
cil were still in control of the four wealthiest counties, viz: 
New York,^Westchester, Richmond and Long Island. 

During this period little legislation was attempted until 1782 
to 1784, when the powers of the Governor and Council ceased 
and the State Government went into full operation over the 
whole State, and important laws were enacted abolishing entails 
and assimilating the statute of descents to our domestic polity. 
Samuel Jones and Richard Varick were authorized to compile 
such existing laws as were preserved by Section 35 of the Consti- 
tution of 1777, and to determine what laws were so preserved. 
Accordingly they reported a Bill of Rights, embracing the most 
important provisions of the Magna Charta, the English Bill of 
Rights, the Habeas Corpus Act [31 Charles 11.] and other Acts 
of the English Constitution. 

They also reported Acts abolishing feudal tenures and making 
lands allodial, as they were regarded under the Dutch. They 
also reported statutes of Frauds, of Wills, and of Limitations. 
The great body of existing law was thus-preserved by the Con- 
stitution of 1777, and it contained the following provision, that 
** the Legislature shall at no time hereafter institute any new 
Court or Courts, but such as shall proceed according to the 


course of the Common Law." Thus was preserved all the 
guaranties of popular rights found in the Charter of Liberties of 
1683, as well as those which had been secured by subsequent 
Acts of the Assembly and the Provincial Congress. It contained 
all the Constitutional principles that had been evolved during 
the development of the civil institutions of the Colony and the 
Province of New York. In spite of all the precautions taken by 
Mr. Jay and his colleagues, it contained some provisions and 
omitted others, that impaired its efficacy. Still the eminent Dr. 
Jameson said of it, that " it was at that time generally regarded 
as the most excellent of all the American Constitutions, and the 
model of the National Government under which we live." It is 
apparent from its numerous provisions, that its framers did not 
fall into the error, pointed out by Mr. Maine, of so simplifying our 
political institutions, as to lead to absolutism. In preserving 
their essentials, it provided checks and safeguards, which were 
not to be disregarded in the administration of the affairs of the 

^ The second Constitutional Convention convened in Albany 
on October 13, 1801, chose Aaron Burr its President, remained 
in session until October 27, 1801, and proposed an Amendment, 
suggested by DeWitt Clinton, providing that the members of 
the Assembly should not exceed one hundred and fifty and there 
should be thirty-two Senators, and that the Governor should 
have a voice in the Council of Appointment. This was the 
substance of the work of that Convention which was submitted 
to the people and by them approved. 

The third Constitutional Convention met in the Assembly 
Chamber on August 2'^, 1821, and consisted of one hundred and 
ten delegates. Daniel D. Tompkins was elected President and 
among the more prominent delegates were Chancellor Kent, 
Chief-Justice Ambrose Spencer, Henry Wheaton, William Van 
Hess, Nathan Sandford, Samuel Nelson, Jacob RadclilT,* John 
Duer, Jacob Southerland, Rufus King, Martin Van Buren, Gen- 
eral Root and others. It remained in session until November 
10, 1821. It entered upon a thorough examination of the 
Constitution of 1777, and its practical operation in the light of 
experience and in view of the development of free institutions in 


America. Sufficient time had elapsed to reveal the defects of the 
first Constitution and to impress upon the members of the Con- 
vention of 182 1, the importance of such modifications as would 
place the organic law of the State on as liberal a basis as that of 
other States and in harmony with the provisions of the Federal 
Constitution. The debates of that Convention are replete with 
learned disquisitions on Representative Government, the dura- 
bility and permanency of which were still questionable. This 
Convention abolished the Council of. Revision and the Council 
of Appointment. The veto power after much deliberation was 
given to the Governor. The Convention made a systematic 
revision of the whole Constitution and made much ampler pro- 
vision for the practical operation of popular government than 
that which had previously existed in this State. The Secretary 
of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Attorney-General, Surveyor- 
General and Commissary-General were to be appointed by the 
Senate and Assembly, ^but in case of the disagreement of the 
Senate and Assembly as to such appointment, then such officers 
were to be elected W joint ballot of the Senators and members 
of Assembly. ^ 

The Governor, with the consent of the Senate, which, as a 
Council to the Governor, enabled the people, through their 
Senators, to have voice in the selection of officers, was empowered 
to appoint all judicial officers, except justices of the peace. These 
were appointed by the supervisors and county judges. Sheriffs 
and county clerks were elected and district attorneys were 
appointed by the county courts. 

The Court for the trial of Impeachments and the Correction 
of Errors, the Court of Chancery and the Supreme Court, con- 
sisting of a chief judge and two other justices, were continued 
substantially as provided for in the Constitution of 1777. The 
Chancellor and the Justices of the Supreme Court were to hold 
office during good behavior or until they attain the age of 60 years. 
Provision was made for dividing the State into not more than 
eight circuits and for the appointment of a-Circuit Judge witli the 
same powers as a Justice of the Supreme Court ^nd with such 
equity powers as might be conferred by the Legislature, subject 
to the appellate jurisdiction of the Chancellor. 


An appeal lay from a decree in Chancery and a writ of error 
from a judgment of the Supreme Court to the Court of Errors, 
but on such appeal the Chancellor might inform the Court of 
Errors of the reasons of his decree but could not vote, and the 
Justices of the Supreme Court might assign the reasons for thtir 
judgment, but could not vote. Trial by jury was preserved as 
well as the other fundamental principles of prior constitutional and 
statutory enactments. -Owing to the masterly argument of 
Hamilton in the case of The People vs. Croswell [3 Johnson 
Cases 343], provision was made for the first time in the consti- 
tution of 1821, to admit in evidence the truth in cases of libel. 
The Constitution of 182 1 was duly ratified in February, 1822, 
and went into effect January i, 1823. In 1825 Messrs. Butler, 
Duer and Wheaton were commissioned to revise the statutes of 
the State. 

Upon the cession of the Province to the Crown in 1664, cer- 
tain rights and privileges were reserved by the Dutch and were 
frequently thereafter recognized by the Courts as hereinbefore 
stated." Dutch tenures were converted into socage tenures 
although Dutch grants were confirmed by the ''Duke's Laws" 
and subsequent constitutional provisions. The Duke's Laws was 
the first code promulgated in the province. It was a compre- 
hensive system formulated in 1664-65, and was followed by the 
Acts of the Dongan Assemblies of 1683-84-85, all of which were 
repealed in 1691. [V^an Winkle vs. Constantine, 10 N. Y., 422.] 
The first revision of the Acts of the Assembly was that of Liv- 
ingston and Smith of those enacted between the years 1691 and 
1763. The second revision was that of Van Schaack, including 
the laws of the earlier revision and those passed between 1 763 
and 1774. The next revision and the first under the State Con- 
stitution was that of Jones and Varick, heretofore referred to. 
It determined what statutes and laws were preserved by Section 
35 of the Constitution of 1777. Its importance can not be over- 
stated. The next revision was that of Kent and Radcliff, pur- 
suant to chapter 190 of the Laws of 1801. Still another revision 
was made by Van Ness and WoodwOrth, and is known as the 
Revised Laws of 1813. This superceded prior revisions but 
made little change in the version of Jones and Varick's revision. 


In addition to these there were several individual compila- 
tions such as Bradford's Laws of 1694, Greenleaf's compilations 
and Webster's edition of New York Laws. The tenure of real 
property involved much consideration on the part of the revisers. 
Under the Dutch the title to the lands in the Province was 
vested primarily in the West India Company, and patroonships 
with certain seigniorial privileges were created by the States, 
General, the Prince of Orange and the West India Company. 
Of the seven thus created only that of Van Rensselaer and that 
of Van der Donck remained after the surrender of the Province to 
the Crown of England. Many private grants of lands were made 
by the Dutch which were held as allodial lands, according to the 
law of Holland. By the terms of the articles of surrender of the 
Dutch to the Crown, it was stipulated that ''all People shall 
continue free Denizens ,and enjoy lands, houses, goods, ships- 
wheresoever they are within the County, and dispose of them as 
they please," and that* "the Dutch here shall enjoy their own 
customs concerning inheritances." [i Doc. Hist. N. Y., 249.] 
After the conquest Dutch grants were required to be confirmed 
under the Duke's Laws and their validity was established by an 
Act of 1691. The Duke of York received his first Patent in 
1664 and his second Patent in 1674, under which grants the 
province was held by " the socage tenure as it stood in England 
in 1664." Certain franchises or political powers were also con- 
ferred upon the Duke by these Patents, [i Black. Com. 108 ; 
2 Id. 346-348.] Mr. Fowler, in his " History of the Law of 
Real Property," states that "when the Duke of York ascended 
the throne as King James 11. , the legal effect was to merge his 
private estate, as lord proprietor, in the Crown. Thereafter he 
held the province no longer in his own right but in jure CoroncEy 
Thenceforth it was a Crown province and might be granted 
generally to the Governors to be conveyed, but as the Statute of 
Quia Emptores was in force after 1664, the grantees held of the 
Crown direct. [See Van Rensslaer vs. Hayes, 19 N. Y. (i%.'\ In 
later years long and spirited controversies arose over the New 
Hampshire grants and fVench Seigniories on Lirke Chamjjlain, 
which involved the jurisdiction of the Crown over parts of the 
territory now embraced within the State of New York, notwith- 


Standing by the Treaty of Utrecht, France had acknowledged the 
sovereignty of the Crown of Great Britain over the Five Nations 
of Indians who claimed Lake Champlain and the circumjacent 

The tenure of these French grants was usually that of ''Fief 
and Seigniory with right of high, middle and low justice, rights 
of hunting, fishing and the Indian trade," as stated in the 
grant to Bedou, embracing a tract on the River Chambly and 
including Isle a La Mothe (Isle La Motte), in Lake Champlain. 
[i Doc. Hist. N. Y., 362.] The tenure of English manors, such 
as that of Livingston, was according to that of East Greenwich 
in Kent. Freehold manors were thus created, the boundaries 
and property rights of which have frequently been upheld by the 
courts upon the principle of the maxim, Ut res magis valeat 
quam pereat, although the franchises or political powers con- 
ferred as a part of such manorial rights did not survive the Revo- 
lution. "[See cases of the People vs. Van Rensselaer, 9 X. Y. 
291, and People vs. Livingston, 8 Barb. 252-278.] The Court 
of Appeals very recentjy had occasion to pass upon the grant, 
creating the manor of Pelham in the case oi Dc Lancey vs. Piep- 
gras [138 N. Y. 26], and decided that the political rights and 
powers or franchises of a public character contained in such 
grant might be restricted or even abrogated, whereas the property 
rights of private ownership of the proprietor could not be 
divested, exce|)t by due process of law. Some of the most per- 
plexing questions that have been adjudicated upon by our State 
and P^deral Courts are those involving the construction of 
Crown grants during the Colonial period. The revisers of the stat- 
utes had many other weighty matters to consider, suchas the revi- 
sion of the Act concerning tenures and the Act of 17S2 abolish- 
ing entails, notwithstanding which, lands might still be rendered 
inalienable by a springing use or an executory devise. Accord- 
ingly Messrs. Butler, Duer and Wheaton undertook and com- 
pleted a comprehensive and systematic revision of the entire 
Statutory Law of the State, which was embodied in the Revised 
Statutes of 1S30, the foundation oi ?A\ subsequent statutes. 

The fourth Constitutional Convention convened at Alban\- on 
June I, 1846, and consisted of one hundred and twenty-eight dele- 


gates. General James Tallmadge, who was in the Convention 
of 1 82 1, was a member of this Convention. John Tracy was 
elected President, and among the prominent delegates were 
Charles O'Connor, Samuel J. Tilden, Ira Harris, Charles H. 
Ruggles, Samuel Nelson, Richard P. Marvin, Henry C. Murphy, 
Horatio J. Stow and others. It remained in session until Octo- 
ber 9, 1846, and completed the work undertaken by the Conven- 
tion of 1821, by doing. away with the system of filling offices by 
appointment and substituting in its stead the elective system. 

All judicial officers and the Secretary of State, Comptroller, 
Treasurer, Attorney-General, State Engineer and Surveyor, the 
Canal Commissioners, the Inspectors of State Prison, the Clerk 
of the Court of Appeals, Sheriffs, County Clerks, District 
Attorneys and all city, town and village officers, except as other- 
wise provided for by the Constitution, were to be chosen by popular 
election. It abolished the Court for the trial of Impeachments 
and the Correction of Errors and created a Court for the trial of 
Impeachments, consisting of the Senators and the Judges of the 
Court of Appeals. Itxreated a new Appellate Court, known as 
the Court of Appeals, composed of eight Judges, of whom four 
were elected for the period of eight years, and four selected from 
the Justices of the Supreme Court having the shortest term to 
serve. It abolished the Court of Chancery and provided that 
the Supreme Court was to have general jurisdiction in law and 
equity and conferred jurisdiction upon its General Terms to 
review appeals from its Special Terms and Circuit Courts and 
Courts of Oyer and Terminer, and the Legislature was empowered 
to provide for reviewing judgments, decrees and decisions of 
inferior local courts. It also authorized the Legislature to provide 
for Tribunals of Conciliation, to whose judgment parties might 
voluntarily submit their matters in difference. The Legislature 
was directed to appoint three Commissioners to revise, reform, 
simplify and abridge the rules, and practice, pleadings, forms 
and proceedings of courts of record of the State, subject to the 
approval of the Legislature. Whence came our Codes and 
reformed procedure. This Convention also formulnted a scheme 
for the creation of a sinking fund to liquidate the canal 
debt and to provide also for the expenses and repairs of the 


omalf of the ^^^^ and if frf Wi fil llse 
i]^ aof of the canal* of Ike 

Tlie credit of tlie Sfaie tRW aoc io be 
anr indnriduaJ^ ati o riijfi o n or< 
co«tmic»y dtics, to«i» 
Uieir omiieir or credtf or froai matam^ smf 
lor eoontY, dty, 
fiirther ImMfatioo wa» 
of o»e kmodrtd rHiounwd ininbiraiiti or 
sadi citks, resmcttng thdr iaddbiedncis to «rm per 
the awenied Talaatkw of dKir ical estaie^ 

TlMi CooftitirtMMul provMoa wm tedber afdrd W dse 
DooreBcion of i%4 ^wd » aoir one of dbe 
nea«res ib oar orgaoic bv. b: has beea 
to dty and coantf eTtTa<Bagai8ce and ni the httme vifl 
fbrtber abridge the powen of cities aod cosBCies tt> 

The ^Coartntkm of i&fii e» {ww i ieicd the I j-gid h MiiM 
divide t^ State into eight jwdiciat dsstrids and provided 
there should be Ibor Jistices of the SupR'H if Csnt 
jodicial district. It retained the yunhia as of the 
of r82i as to the preserYadon of 

sack paxts «f dbe ramumm lam, ami. of the Atts af she 
Cbloin^ of New TorlE. a» lo^dber dU fenn the bar «r dK 
I9dk dar k Aydl, 1775, adifae Kaotaftw of the 
CokHiy. and of tiK OwvetfiH of dbe aiase cf 3Cev Yoik^iB 1 
daf of April, 1777. 

r 'ii I tibe lav of 

shaD auke coKciMe dbe 

It also retained the provisBcm of the Oimiiiitii on of i?r; 25 
to grants of land vitfain tius Staie. 

The Convention of 1&4S spent mnch tame m debating the 
Negro Sni&agHe AnendflKnt, vhicb was wfMiairif 1 iiiiiiMitTi'd to 
the people and drtirateri bf about i5«voao ■Ufuiiti rant, 
aithoogfa the ConstitatioB oT 1&46 was adB|iftnif br ahonc 
130,000 majoritr vote. This Consfimtion oompieftd the sep- 
aratioB and esiii Jiih— nf of the thiee ^amtmemts of the 


State Government. This was amended from time to time, but 
for the most part, it remained in force for nearly half a century 
and until the Revised Constitution of 1894 took effect on 
January i, 1895. Under its liberal provisions, the State 
flourished, and the people enjoyed a good degree of prosperity^ 
and the State indebtedness was fully liquidated. 

The Fifth Constitutional Convention convened at the State 
Capitol on June 4, 1867, and consisted of 160 delegates. 
William A. Wheeler was elected President, and there were in 
this Convention William M. Evarts, Samuel J. Tilden, Horace 
Greeley, George William Curtis, Charles J. Folger, George \N . 
Clinton, Ezra Graves, Isaac Verplanck, and other prominent men. 

Many important matters were considered by the Convention 
of 1867, but all its recommendations, except ihe Judiciary 
Article, were disapproved by the people. The debates and 
proceedings of the -Convention of 1867 till several closely 
printed volumes, which for their learning and breadth of discus- 
sion of Constitutionai questions will always be of interest to 
students of the political history of this State. 

In the Conventions of 1777, 1821 and 1846, was laid the 
foundation of this Empire State. Fortunate indeed was the State 
to have such able men as John Jay, Gouverneur Morris, Chancellor 
Kent, Robert R. Livingston, Ambrose Spencer, Samuel Nelson, 
Nathan Sanford, Martin Van Buren, Charles Ruggles, Samuel J. 
Tilden, Daniel D. Tompkins, John Tracy, William A. Wheeler, 
Charles J. Folger, William M. Evarts, and others, to take part 
in formulating and expounding its Constitutional Law. 

Alexander Hamilton took an important part in framing the 
Federal Constitution, and heandjay, through " The Federalist," 
forecast the probable ojjeration of its provisions. New Yoik has 
been progressive and has exerted a ])owerful influence in the 
building up of Republican institutions in America. 

The immortal and creative genius of Hamilton, the 
patriotism of Jay, the civil and legal erudition of Kent, the 
judicial temper of Livingston, Walworth,- Nelson, Folger and 
Andrews, the political sagacity of the' Clintons* Van Buren, 
Sjjencer, Tompkins, Fillmore, Tracy, Weed, Seward, Raymond, 
(jreeley, Conkling, Vv'heeler, Wright, Marcy, Dix, Curtis, 
Dana, Morton, Evarts, Tilden and Cleveland, are some of the 


the formative influences that have been exerted in the develop- 
ment of Constitutional Law in the building up of the Empire State. 
The foregoing sketch of the development of Constim- 
tional Law in this State enables us readily to form a conce[>tion 
of the work of the Constitutional Convention of 1894, which 
convened at the Capitol in Albany on May 8, 1S94, and con- 
sisted of 1 75 delegates ; fifteen of these were elected on the 
general State ticket and the remaining 160 from the thirty-two 
Senatorial Districts of the State, each District having five dele- 
gates. It proceeded to organize by the election of Joseph H. 
Choate, of New York City, as President, Thomas G. Ah'ord as 
First Vice-President, William H. Steele as Second Vice-President, 
Charles E. Fitch as Secretary, and Herbert A. Briggs, of Buffalo, 
as Stenographer. There were one or two deaths among the 
delegates, and one or two delegates who failed to qualify, so that 
at no time did the membership exceed 171 in number. 'Ihe 
Erie County rneml^ers were Hon. E>aniel H. McMillan, delegate- 
at-large ; Harvey W. Putnam. Thomas A. Sullivan, William 
Turner, James -S. Porter, and Philip W. Springweiler, delegates 
from the thirtieth Senate District; Henry W. Hill, Tracy C. 
Becker, John Coleman, George A. Davis and Jonathan W. 
Carter, delegates from the thirty-nrst Senate District. Six of its 
members were also members of the Convention of 1867, viz., 
Messrs. Francis, Augustus Frank, Schumaker, Veeder. Tucker. 
and Alvord ; one of the number, Mr. Tucker, was the steno- 
graphic reporter of the Convention of 1S46. Several of the 
number had served in the diplomatic service of the L'nited 
States, such as Mr. Francis, of Troy, and Mr. Bigelow, of New 
York. Several had been members of Congress, such as Augustus 
Frank, William D. Veeder. John G. Schumaker and John A. 
Griswold. Several others had a prominent civil or military 
record. Many had been members of the State Legislature, such 
as Messrs. McMillan, Vedder, and Gilbert, and se\-cnil had 
heretofore or then held judicial positions, among these Judged 
Truax, Cady and McLaughlin. A majority of the number 
were members of the legal profession, although other avocations 
were represented. There were several journalists, several authurs. 
one or more physicians, and farmers, and a few business men. 

. m NE IV YORK ST A TE. 191 

Joseph H. Choate, a nephew of Rufus Choate, and one of the 
half-dozen most prominent American lawyers, presided over the 
deliberations of this Convention. The shafts of his wit, when 
directed toward the parliamentary enigmas, which occasionally 
embroiled the Convention, would convulse that body with 
laughter and quiet the tumult, as oil does the troubled waters. 
Without previous parliamentary experience, he readily familiar- 
ized himself with parliamentary procedure and became an 
efficient and satisfactory presiding officer. 

The standing and special committees of the Convention 
altogether were thirty-one in number, and the membership of 
these ranged from five to seventeen each. They were classified and 
known as the following : The Committee on Preamble and Bill 
of Rights ; on Legislative Organization ; on Powers and Duties of 
the Legislature ; on Suffrage ; on Governor and State Officers ; 
on the Judiciary ; on the State Finances ; on Cities, their Organ- 
ization and Government; on Canals; on Railroads ; on Coun- 
ties, Towns and Villages and their organization; on County, 
Town and Village Officers ; on State Prisons and Penitentiaries ; 
on Corporations ; on Currency and Banking; on Military Af- 
fairs; on Educational Interests; on Charitable Institutions; on 
Industrial Interests ; on Salt Springs ; on Indians ; on Future 
Amendments; on Revision and Engrossment; on Privileges and 
Elections ; on Printing ;, on Contingent Expenses ; on Rules ; 
on Civil Service; on Proposed Amendments; on Forest Preser- 
vation ; and on Land Titles. 

The work of the Convention was greatly facilitated through 
the efficiency and ability with which the various Committees 
disposed of the four hundred and fifty proposed Constitutional 
Amendments, introduced in the Convention and referred to 
them. Notwithstanding the admonition of President Choate, in 
accepting the duties as presiding officer, that *' we were not 
commissioned to treat with rude or sacrilegious hands the Con- 
stitution of 1S46, which for nearly half a century had satisfied in 
the main the wants of the people of the- State of New York," 
nearly every provision of the State Constitution, in force on May 
8, 1894, was touched upon, or affected by one or more of the 
proposed Amendnients. Some of these necessarily dujilicated 
one another and were finally merged into one. Others were 


rejected in toto by the committee having them under consider- 
ation. Interested parties appeared before such committees in 
support of, or opposition to matters under consideration, and 
many hours were occupied in the investigation of such matters 
by such committees, or by sub-committees appointed from 
their number. The responsibility resting upon sub-committees 
was not unlike that resting upon members of the Court of Ap- 
peals, charged with the duty of writing the opinion of the Court 
upon the rendition of an important decision. Preconceived 
personal opinions were subordinated to the concensus of opinion 
of a majority of the committee. 

This method of procedure brought into full exercise all the 
ability and experience of all the members of the Convention. 
Great freedom of debate was allowed in the consideration of 
matters in Committee, and many members took part in such 
debates, who did not participate extensively in the formal debates 
of the Convention. More than two-thirds of the volume of the 
work of *.vhe Convention was disposed of by these Committees, 
whose unreported debates ranged over the whole field cf Con- 
stitutional Law. Both American and foreign Constitutions 
were consulted with a view of placing the Constitution of this 
State abreast of our progressive civilization. 

Many of the proposed Amendments introduced were of a 
theoretical^ temporal or legislative character and would be 
entirely out of place in the organic law of the State. Memo- 
rials, petitions and personal recommendations in vast numbers 
were presented from various parts of the State, and it required 
much courage for the delegates to withstand these, and, Horatius- 
like, defend the Constitution against the assaults thus made 
upon it. Extreme and speculative opinions found little favor 
and it was decided early in the sessions of the Convention, to 
make only such changes in the Fundamental Law of the State. 
as were required to provide for new exigencies in State, -county, 
town, village and municipal government. 

Conditions, unknown and unforeseen in 1846, had since 
arisen requiring an expansion of Jour Constitution in several 
particulars. The rapid growth of cities and their demand tor 
freedom from Legislative interference, the necessity of the 
separation of Municipal from State and Federal elections, the 



demand for further restrictions upon Legislative action, the 
need of a more equitable apportionment of the Senatorial Dis- 
tricts, and for a revision of the Judicial system, as well as the 
demand for improved inland waterways to meet the require- 
ments of the expansion of commerce, and the suppression of the 
abuses and usurpations that were practiced in general elections, 
such as those at Gravesend, Troy, New York and Buffalo, were 
among the new exigencies requiring Constitutional enactments. 

Webster once said, that "every generation ought to have 
some part in formulating its Fundamental Law." More than a 
generation had passed since the adoption of the Constitution of 
1846. In the meantime the population of this State quadrupled, 
its industries had been diversified and multiplied, its urban 
population had exceeded its rural population and many import- 
ant problems in Municipal Government had been presented, all 
of which tended to convince the people that the State had out- 
grown the Constitutfon of 1846, and a thorough revision thereof 
were necessary to meet these new exigencies, and to ensure a 
higher degree of Republican Government by the people of the 
State, than they were capable of enjoying under the Constitution 
then in force. 

The Committees of the Constitutional Convention finally 
disposed of about three hundred of the four hundred and fifty 
proposed Constitutional Amendments, and thereby saved the 
consideration of these by the Convention. These Committees 
however reported on about one hundred and fifty Amendments, 
which went onto the Calendar of the Convention, but only 
thirty-three of this number were approved by the Convention 
and incorporated into the Revised Con\ention. 

There were some others, however, on the Calendar of the 
Convention, which also would have been approved,, had they 
been reached before final adjournment. It may be of interest to 
consider some of these Amendments, that were made to our 
Constitution. It has well been said that "the problem of 
the Constitution-maker is one of the most difficult in our whole 
system of Government to reconcile the requisites for progress 
with the requisites for safety. Every new Constitution gathers 
up the fruits of past experiences, and in turn contributes some- 
thing to the common stock." 


John Stuart Mill affirms that '' No Government can now 
expect to be permanent unless it guarantees progress as well as 
order; nor can it continue really to secure order unless it 
promotes progress." The American system rests upon the 
principle that the people are the source of all political power 
and that Government is instituted for their good but must be 
exercised by their representatives, duly constituted to voice 
their sentiments. Guizot says that " the Representative system is 
the only one that makes the responsibility of power one of its 
fundamental conditions." This Republican form of Govern- 
ment is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States to 
every State in the Union. With these cardinal principles in 
mind, the Convention undertook to amplify and adopt the 
Constitution to the new exigencies heretofore referred to, and to 
provide additional safeguards *' to secure the rights of life, liberty 
and th^ pursuit of happiness." 

Notv/ithstanding the expansion of our Constitution in con- 
formity with the recommendations of previous Conventions and 
with those of the Legislature from time to time, it required also the 
work of the Convention of 1894 to secure the full operation of 
Republican form of government in all its plenitude in the cities 
and political divisions of the State. 

Our Revised Constitution was the fourth American Consti- 
tution to provide any measure of Home Rule for municipalities. 
The conquered municipalities of the Roman Empire for the most 
part enjoyed a greater degree of autonomy, than did our cities 
in 1892, under the then existing State Constitution. The spirit of 
municipal institutions, after being fostered for centuries among 
the Teutonic nations, was transferred through the Dutch into the 
institutions of New Netherland and was wrought out in the 
principles of American Constitutional freedom. It was a part of 
the work of the last Constitutional Convention to restore to our 
municipalities something of the freedom which they originally 
enjoyed and which had been taken from them by recent legis- 
lative interference. 

Accordingly the New Constitution ordains : 
After any b'H for a special city law, relating to a city, has been passed by 
both branches of the Legislature ... a certified copy thereof shall be 
transmitted to the Mayor of said city, and within fifteen days thereafter the 


Mayor sha.!! return such bill, with the Mayor's certificate thereon, stating 
wbetier the ciiy has or has not accepted the same, . . . and the same 
shail be siibject to the action of the Governor. 

W'beneTer . . . any such bill is returned without the acceptance of 
the ciry or cities to which it relates, it may nevertheless again be passed by 
both branches of the Legislature, and it shall then be subject to the action of 
the Gcvemor. 

This provision enables the cities of the State to interpose 
obiecrions to all special legislation and thereby enjoy some 
measure of Home Rule, without invading the domain of the 
sovcreig'Dty of the State over all its j)olitical divisions. This 
Amendment is commented upon in the case of People ex rel. 
Einsfeld vs. Murray, 149 N. Y. 379. In addition to this, 
another Amendment was also made, separating municipal from 
State and Federal elections; and hereafter municipal elections 
will occur on odd-numbered vears and State and Federal elections 
on the even-numbered years. These two provisions will have 
the practical operation of making our cities to some extent 
autonomous. The Civil Service Amendment was the first to be 
inserted by any State in its fundamental law and has already 
received judicial construction. [Matter of Keymer, 148 N. Y. 
219 : People ex rel. McClelland vs. Roberts, 148 N. Y. 260.] 

Another important Amendment was that requiring all bills to 
be printed and upon the desks of the members of the Legis- 
lature in their final form at least three calendar legislative days 
prior to. their final passage, and prohibiting any Amendment being 
made upon the last reading of such bills. This will prevent 
hasty and '*' snap " legislation and enable the people of the State 
to know what is transpiring in legislative chambers. As a mem- 
ber of the Legislature of 1896, I found this to be a very 
salutary provision. Another important Amendment was that 
relating to general State elections and securing the right- of 
suffrage against force and fraud and providing for its exercise 
by requiring proper registration of voters and the creation of 
election boards with equal representation of the two principal 
political parties thereon, and also by increaj^ing the period of 
citizenship after naturalization from ten to ninet^' days and by 
also providing that elections may be '*by such other method" 
than by ballot "as may be prescribed by law, provided that 
secrecy in voting be preserved." 


Honest and fair elections together with the legal exercise of 
the privilege of suffrage are indispensable requisites to the 
perpetuity of Representative Government, and it is believed 
that the additional safeguards that have now been incorporated 
into the State Constitution, will tend to secure these requisites. 
Should experience warrant the introduction and use of any other 
method of conducting elections, than the present cumbersome 
and expensive method of voting by ballot, the Legislature under 
the foregoing permissive Constitutional Provision may authorize 
its introduction and use. This is a progressive measure, looking 
toward an improved method of voting. It was my privilege to 
draft, introduce and advocate this latter Amendment in the 

Anotherimportant Amendment was the Apportionment Article, 
formulated with great care by the Committee of which Air. Tracy 
C. iecker of Buffalo was chairman, and designed to secure an 
equitable representation of all the Counties of the State in 
the Legislature. It was based upon a numerical representation, 
increasing the Senate from 32 to 50 and the Assembly from 12S 
to 150 members, and did away entirely with the legislative 
inequitable gerrymander of 1892. The operation of this new 
apportionment was first seen in the general election in November, 
1895. It is generally believed that it will prove satisfactory 10 
the people, who prefer fairness of representation to ])olitical 
advantage in the election of members of the State Legi.^lature. 
[See People ex rel. Henderson vs. Supervisors, 147 N. Y. i : 
In re Smith vs. Board of Supervisors, 148 N. Y. 1S7.] 

Another Amendment thoroughly revised our Judicial system 
and merged nearly all of our city Courts of Record in one 
Court of original jurisdiction, known as the Supreme Court. It 
also superceded the General Terms of the Supreme Court by a 
new tribunal, consisting of from five to seven Justices and to be 
known as the Appellate Division of the Sui)reme Court,* of which 
there are four in the State. This Article went into effect on 
January'!, 1896, and tha-t accounts for the necessary re-adjust- 
ment of the Justices of the Sui)reme Court and former Judges v^f 
the Superior Court of Buffalo. [In re Rapid Transit Com- 
misioners, 147 N. Y. 260; People vs. Herrmann, 149 X.Y. 190.] 

Another Amendment was that providing for the e.\aminati«ui 


and inspection of charitable, eleemosynary and reformatory 
institutions, whether supported by the State, county, or a 
municipality. Another still more important Amendment was 
the Educational Article, which for the first time in the history of 
the State makes Constitutional provision for the maintenance 
and support of a system of free common schools. 

A system of free common schools was established in Massa- 
chusetts as early as 1647, but it was not until 1867 that the 
unpopular rate-bill was finally abolfshed in the State of New 
York, and her common schools were supported by a State tax 
and became in reality a free common school system. 

The importance of the maintenance of such schools was 
deemed to be such, as to warrant Constitutional enactment co 
avoid any legislative disturbance of the system in the future. 

The new Educational Article also constitutionalizes the 
University of the S'ltate of New York, and for the first time in 
the history of the State places higher education beyond the reach 
of legislative interference. The Regents of the University of 
the State of New York were incorporated in 1784, and by a 
more satisfactory Act in 17S7, and have enrolled among their 
number some of the most gifted sons of the Empire State. 
Incorporated through the effort of L'Hommedieu and Hamilton, 
fostered and upheld by a century of legislation, the Regents of 
the University have been deemed worthy of perpetuation, and 
the new Constitution so ordains. 

Another important Amendment was that organizing ''all 
able-bodied male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 years " 
into the State militia. There were several other less important 
Amendments, recommended and adopted, to carry out our 
representative system of State government in its three principal 
co-ordinate branches more fully than it were possible under the 
pre-existing Constitution. 

In the opinion of many, one of the important Amendments 
was that providing for canal improvement. Certainly no other 
Amendment is likely to do more for the industrial and commer- 
cial prosperity of the city of Buffalo and of the State. 

The inland artificial waterways of the State may now be im- 
proved and maintained. The experience of upwards of half a 


century has confirmed the predictions of its projectors, that the 
Erie Canal has done more to advance the interests of the State 
and Nation, than any other one agency, Buffalo has grown 
from an Indian village to the sixth greatest commercial port in 
the world and New York City has become the second greatest 
commercial port in the world, while all the intermediate villages 
of the State have become flourishing cities, unsurpassed by 
the maritime cities of Southern Europe. The policy which has 
thus made New York the greatest commercial State in the Union, 
we believed should be continued, and accordingly we undertook 
to make provision for general canal improvement, and after 
much labor, succeeded in prevailing upon the Convention to 
adopt this line of policy and the people of the State approved 
of the work thus done by an overwhelming majority vote. 

\^ should be one of the proud achievements of Buffalo, that 
she has had a prominent part in fostering, preserving and per- 
petuating the internal waterways of the State and thus enabled 
the State to control the commerce, passing each way between the 
sea-board and the great lakes for nearly half a century, and also 
enabled the State to maintain her commercial supremacy among 
her enterprising sister States. 

As a member of that Convention, ample opportunity was 
given me to have part in formulating and in advocating such 
Constitutional provision. It may be safely stated that our canal 
system will now be improved and put beyond the vis inerticz of 
public sentiment for another generation. 

The foregoing new Constitutional provisions necessitated 
some change in the number and arrangement of the sections of 
the Constitution,, but its general framework was retained. The 
fundamental provisions contained in the Preamble and Bill of 
Rights embraced in Article i. of the Constitution were not 
disturbed. They have come down to us from the Magna Charta, 
the English Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 and the English Bill of 
Rights of 16S9, or possibly from still more remote sources. 
*' From the earliest records- of the English law," says Hallam. 
**a freeman might demand of the "Court of the King's Bench a 
writ of Habeas Corpus ad stibjiciendiim, etc. The Habeas 
Corpus Act introduced no new principles." 


It is quite probable that some of the principles contained in 
the Athenian and Roman Constitutions have come down to us 
and are preserved for us in the first Article of our Constitution. 
We have already seen that we are indebted to Aristotle for the 
plan of government, comprising three co-ordinate branches. It 
is said that our highly-prized jury system may be traced back to 
the Frankish inquisitio, one of the prerogative rights of a 
Frankish king, if not to the Roman reciiperatores, or even to the 
Greek dikastes. From the promulgation of the Twelve Tables 
in Rome, 450 B. C, down through the writings of the great 
civilians, Gaius, Papinian, Ulpian and Paulus, to the Institutes of 
Justinian, A. D. 533, the Romans developed, made trial of, and 
perfected a system of jurisprudence, which has been to a great 
extent the source of all subsequent systems, as well as the admir- 
ation of the law-maker the world over. 

Qu. Mucins Sc£/,vola (100 B. C.) was the first to classify and 
define the nature of legal institutions, such as a will, legacy, 
guardianship, partnership, sale, hiring, etc. ; and Labeo was the 
author of various new classifications, divisions and definitions 
such as '^ actiones in rem,^' and '^ actto?ies in personam,'' and 
^^ dolus 7nalus'" (excusable error), appurtenances, etc. Classi- 
fication went on until the nomenclature of the Roman Law be- 
came nomenclature of all subsequent systems. In speaking of the 
Corpus juris civilis, Rudolph Sohm, of Leipsic, says " it forms, in 
a sense, both the coping-stone of the whole structure of antique 
law and the foundation-stone of the structure of modern law." 
Erwin Grueberalso affirms that " Roman Law was, through Brac- 
ton, in perfect good faith made part of the work which forms the 
very foundation of the Common Law." It has been said that " it 
was by a judicious mixture of the permanent or conservative, and 
the progressive reformatory spirit, that Rome was enabled to 
establish and frame laws that in time gave her the Empire of the 

Our indebtedness to the Civil Law is evidenced not only by 
our Constitution, but also by the Declaration of Independence. 

The ''self-evident truth" therein contained i' that all men 
are created equal is a reproduction of the Stoical dictum of 
the Roman Jurisconsults *' Omnes homines natura lequales sunt'' 



found in Ulpian and translated '^ All men are by nature equal," 
or " All men are born equal." Justinian characterized the 
principles of the Roman Law as follows: ^^ Juris prcecepta sunt 
hcRC, honesie vivere, alterum no?i Imdere^ suum cuique tribuere.'' 
And Professor Sohm says : " In working out the jus gentium, 
i. e., those rules of natural equity, which regulate the dealings 
between man and man, and in reducing these rules to a system 
of marvellous transparency and lucidity, which carries irresis- 
tible conviction by its form as well as its matter to the mind of 
every observer, in doing this, Roman Law has performed its 
mission in the world's history." 

From this source and from the English Court of Chancery, 
which bears some resemblance to the praetorian jurisdiction at 
Rorrfe, was largely drawn our equity system, as outlined by our 
great^civilians and Chancellors, Livingston, Lansing and Kent. 
It is possible to trace many other of our civil institutions 
back to an English, Norman, Teutonic or Roman origin. In 
the history of civilization, from time to time have appeared 
important constitutional instruments, such as the Twelve Tables 
of Roman Law, the Institutes or Code of Justinian, the Magna 
Charta of King John, the English Declaration of Rights, the 
Fede.ral and other American and recent foreign Constitutions. 
All these have been declarations of fundamental principles to 
be observed in the administration of government and have suc- 
cessfully advanced Constitutional liberty among the peoj/ies of 
the earth. These have imposed limitations upon the capricious 
acts of executive, legislative and judicial officers, established the 
rights of persons and property and made possible the evolution 
of popular government. The Representative system, or Repub- 
lican form, so well adapted to the conservation of these rights 
and of free institutions generally became the American type of 
government, and is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution to 
all the States of the Union. It was a wise policy therefoYe, and 
based upon well ajjproved principles that moulded the develop- 
ment of American civil institutions upon a Rej^resentative and a 
Constitutional basis, and if is generally believed that no peoj^le 
are more secure than Americans in the enjoyment of "■ lite, 
liberty and the pursuit of hap})iness." 

IN NE VV YORK ST A TE. 201 - t^ ^ 

The Constitutional Convention of 1894 supplemented the 
efficient work done by the five preceding State Constitutional 
Conventions and that proposed from time to time by the Legisla- 
\MXt,2iQ,\.\Xigspontesua,ox upon the recommendation of the Constitu- 
tional Commissions of 1872-1873 and 1890-1891, and it did not 
undertake to disturb our American civil polity, although much 
investigation was given to the provisions of many foreign Con- 
stitutions. These latter instruments were found to conflict with 
the principles of our civil polity, and not to be in harmony with 
our Republican form of Government, guaranteed by the Federal 
Constitution. The investigation of them however tended to 
convince a majority of the delegates, that the framers of our 
American Constitutions, 

builded better than they knew. 

Our Revised Constitution therefore preserves the approved 
principles, contained in the pre-existing State Constitution, but 
extended its provisions to new exigencies, as already stated. 
Those who have critically examined its provisions affirm that it 
is the most explicit statement of the Constitutional principles of 
Republican form of State government ever made and that its 
beneficent operation will redound to the greater welfare of the 
people of the State. Though very imperfectly and but par- 
tially sketched, the development of our Constitutional Law may 
thus be traced from the civil institutions of the Old World down 
through many transformations to its culmination in our Revised 

Thus fundamental principles survive the decay of Empires 
and enter into the formation of improved systems of govern- 
ment, and these in turn will advance the progress of civilization, 

.... whose compulsive course 
Ne'er knows retiring ebb. 





I think it may be said, with perfect truth, that the ability to 
mould the opinions of men and control the course of public 
events is seldom inherited. The gift commonly dies with its 
possessor. How soon the sceptre of Cromwell dropped from 
the nerveless hand of his son and successor ! The names which 
were the most conspicuous in English history during the last 
century, are now th^ names of men who command no part in state 
affairs; and other names, then unknown, are borne by those 
upon whose shoulders rest the burthens of the empire. The 
families, which were of 'influence and importance during the 
colonial period of this country, are still, no doubt, respectable; 
but they are not, today, speaking generally, of any extraor- 
dinary prominence. To this rule, the families of those, who 
were the leaders in the Revolutionary struggle, offer us few 
exceptions. No descendant of Franklin, or Henry, or Hancock 
can be said to have given any additional luster to the names 
which they inherited. 

Yet it must be confessed that to this rule there have been 
two important exceptions: — the Adams family of Massachusetts 
and the Clinton family of New York. 

Charles Clinton, the ancestor of the'Clintons t)f this State, a 
native of Ireland, but of English descent, a man in whose veins 
commingled the blood of Puritan and Cavalier, came to the 



province of New York, in 1731. He was born in 1690, and 
lived to see his 83d year. At his home in Ulster County, in this 
State, his two sons were born — James, in 1736, and George, in 
1739. There is not a great deal of the history of Charles Clin- 
ton recorded \ — but that he was a man of character and influence 
in his locality is proved by the fact that he served in the French 
and Indian War, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was 
present with his two sons at the capitulation of Fort Frontenac, 
in Canada. He was the great-grandfather of Judge Clinton. 

In 1763, James Clinton, having the command of four regi- 
ments of provincial troops, was engaged in the defence of the 
frontier against the incursions of the Indians. At the beginning 
of the Revolutionary War he received from Congress a commis- 
sion* of colonel, and in 1775 he accompanied Montgomery in his 
disastrous campaign against Quebec. In 1777, having then the 
rank of brigadier-general, he was in command of Fort Clinton. 
when it was successfully stormed by the British. In 1779 he co- 
operated with Gen. Sullivan in the expedition which broke the 
power of the Iroquois in this State. He was afterwards in charge 
of the defences of Albany, and, continuing in the service until 
the close of the war, he witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis 
and the evacuation of the city of New York. 

Of George Clinton it may be said that he participated with 
his father and brother in the French and Indian War; and that 
in the year 1775 he was elected a delegate to the Continental 
Congress, in Philadelphia, voting the following year in favor of 
the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Upon the 
adoption of the Constitution of this State, in the formation of 
which he had a most important part, he was elected Governor, 
holding that office thereafter until 1795, ^^<^ again from iSoi 
until 1804, when he was chosen Vice-President of the United 
States. In the latter office, at the age of 73 years, he died, hav- ' 
ing passed more than half his life in the most arduous a's well as 
the most honorable public service. 

De Witt Clinton, the son of James Clinton and the father of 
Judg'' Clinton, was born'in 1769. * In 1798, at the early age of 
29 years, he was a Senator of this State. In 1S02, being only ^^^ 
he was chosen a Senator of the United States. He resigned that 


office after the brief service of two years, and in 1804 was 
appointed Mayor of the city of New York. In 181 1 he was 
elected Lieutenant Governor. In 1812 he was a candidate for 
the Presidency of the United States. In 1817 he was elected 
Governor of the State for the first time and in 1820 he was re- 
elected. Serving in this exalted office until 1822, he declined a 
re-election ; but in 1824 he accepted a nomination for the third 
time and was elected. Again, in the year 1826, he was a success- 
ful candidate. While holding the office of Governor, for the 
fourth term, on the nth day of February, 1828, he died at what 
may be justly called the early age of 58 years. 

Thus have we seen that for a period of thirty years in the his- 
tory of this State the chief executive office has been held by 
descendants of Charles Clinton. But not upon the length of 
service in this imix?rtant position does their fame rest. The first 
Governor Clinton was, without doubt, the foremost man of the 
State, during the Revolution. He was also the foremost man 
during the critical period when the institutions of the newly- 
created State were in process of formation. To the second Gov- 
ernor Clinton belongs the fame, almost entirely his own, of orig- 
inating and carrying to completion the project of the canal 
which unites the great lakes with the sea, and which, while it 
gave to the State of New York its commercial supremacy, gave 
also to the undeveloped West its first great highway to the mar- 
kets of the East. Seldom, if ever, in ancient or modern history 
have services of such value been rendered to any people as those 
which were given to this State by De Witt Clinton, during his 
nine years of administration in the office of Governor. 

But it would be as foreign to my purpose as it would be to 
your expectations if I should dwell at any length upon the history 
of the family from which Judge Clinton sprung. I have, in fact, 
referred to it only that I might show^ you how that history, for 
the three generations before him, had been most intimately and 
most honorably connected with the history of the State of New 

Belonging to a family so honorably distii>guished in the 
annals of the State, lean well understand how Judge Clinton, 
justly proud of the name which he had inherited, felt also (as he 


more than once declared) that it had been to him a burthen and 
an embarrassment. He knew that great things were expected of 
him, because he was the heir of such a name. 

It was not the lot of Judge Clinton to occupy so conspicuous 
a place in the affairs of the State as was that of his ancestors. 
''The rod of empire" was not committed to his keeping; nor 
was it his "■ the applause of listening senates to command." Yet, 
if he had been called to the high station which they had filled, 
who of you can doubt that he would have given to the Common- 
wealth an administration like theirs, free from all scandal and 
reproach, pure, beneficent and honorable? 

Among the treasures contained in the library of the Buffalo 
Society of Natural Sciences is a liitle manuscript volume, in 
which are recorded the observations and reflections of a young 
man,'»*during a journey on the packet-boat Lafayette, from 
Albany to the village of Buffalo in the spring of 1826, by the 
way of the Erie Canal. The party mainly consisted of students 
of the Rensselaer School of Science (now the Polytechnic Insti- 
tute) in charge of the principal, Professor Amos Eaton. It was 
long before the day of the railroad, and even the packet-boat 
was a great novelty. The excursion was avowedly for scientific 
research. The young men who composed the party were all 
students of natural history, and their leader was distinguished as 
a man of science. The volume is the earliest record which I 
have ever seen made by Judge Clinton's hand. He was then of 
the immature age of 19 ; yet anyone knowing Judge Clinton, 
who should read this quaint and interesting itinerary, would not 
fail to discover that even at that early period of his life the same 
tendencies of his mind, which dominated him in after years, had 
already asserted themselves. You will find in its pages, made 
yellow now by more than half a century, proof of the same 
assiduous seeking after truth, as after treasure, which distin- 
guished him in riper years — the same careful winnowing* of the 
false reasons from the true ones given in explanation of any of 
the phenomena of nature : the same sincere acknowledgment of 
ignorance whenever he passed beyorfd the boundary of his actual 
knowledge. He had been graduated at Hamilton College the 
previous year, where he had entered in 1S21. Upon the occa- 


sion of the celebration of the opening of the canal, in 1825, he 
had accompanied his father to this place. This, therefore, was 
his second visit to Buffalo and Western New York. 

Under the date of Monday, May 15, 1826, I find an entry 
which, while it undoubtedly indicates the youth of the writer, 
nevertheless, to me, has some suggestion of Judge Clinton in 
his later years : *' Good resolutions are so easily forgotten that 
we cannot take too numerous precautions to establish them in 
our memories. Hoping, therefore, that if I neglect to fulfill 
the intentions which I shall now record, this page may have the 
effect of bringing me back to the path of improvement, 1 here 
declare that I have been too remiss in taking notes, neglecting 
to set down things of importance from sheer laziness, and that I 
will reform in this particular. ' ' 

I am inclined to think that any young man, who is possessed 
of a love of natural science, is apt to make choice of the pro- 
fession of medicine, rather than any other, as his vocation in 
life. Certain it is that Judge Clinton had at this time begun to 
fit himself for that profession. The year 1826, after his return 
to Albany, and the year 1827 were spent by him under the 
direction of Dr. Theodoric Romeyn Beck, a distinguished prac- 
titioner of the city of Albany. It is certain, also, that during 
these years he attended two courses of instruction at the Medi- 
cal School at Fairfield, where Dr. Beck had a professorship, and 
in the city of Albany, where Doctors March and TuUy were 
already giving lectures to students. Possibly it was in associa- 
tions like these that his great love for botanical science was 
first stimulated into being. Professor Eaton, Dr. Lewis C. 
Beck and Mr. Rafinesque, who vyere of the company of explor- 
ers in the trip of 1826, were zealous botanists, and voluminous 
writers on botanical topics. I have seen a bound volume of 
letters, which Judge Clinton received at this period of his life, 
which shows him in correspondence with all the leading botanists 
of that day. Nor should I fail to mention that his father 
himself had given much attention to the study of our flora, and 
was the friend and patron of botanists.- In recognition of his 
love of the science, two genera of plants have had the name 
Clintonia bestowed upon them. The leading botanical author- 


ities of that day stand upon the shelves of the Buffalo Society of 
Natural Sciences, with the name of DeVVitt Clinton inscribed 
upon them, the gift of Judge Clinton to that institution. 

At this period of his life Judge Clinton was an industrious 
collector of the flora of our State, making exchanges with other 
devotees of the science-elsewhere. I have seen a letter of Pro- 
fessor Asa Gray, of Cambridge, mentioning the fact that in his 
herbarium at Cambridge, there were still specimens of plants 
prepared at that early day by Judge Clinton's hands. Nor did 
the leaders in the science fail to discover his merits and recog- 
nize his services as of value. In commemoration of him, though 
still a youth. Dr. L. C. Beck gave his name to one at least of his 

His adoption of the medical profession as his vocation in life 
could not but have had the sanction of his father; and it seems 
to me not unlikely that, but for events to which I shall pres- 
ently refer, instead of an honorable career as a lawyer and a 
judge, it would have been his lot, in the no less honorable ranks 
of the medical profession, to have passed his life and earned a 
different but perhaps as great a fame. 

I have mentioned that in February, 1828, DeWitt Clinton 
died. His death was sudden ; and I cannot but think that it 
changed the plan of life which Judge Clinton had chosen for 
himself. There seems to be but little doubt, although I never 
heard Judge Clinton say it, that Ambrose Spencer, then Chief 
Justice of the Supreme Court (a name still beyond doubt the 
most illustrious in the legal annals of the State), conferred wiili 
him as to his purposes in life and advised him to enter the pro- 
fession of the law. Whether he had become disinclined towards 
a physician's life," or whether the law seemed to offer to him a 
field, in which he might win higher honor and a wider fame. I 
do not know. But it is certain that he entered at once and earn- 
estly into the study of the law, attending awhile the law schuol 
of Judge Gould, at Litchfield, Conn., then, and for many \ears. 
the leading one of the country. Subsequently he entered the 
office of the Honorable Jolin C. Spemcer, at Canandaigua, where 
his reading as a student seems to have been finished. And here 
I may mention, that so complete was his determination to 


devote himself to his newly chosen profession, that he gave away 
his collection of plants, with the resolution that thenceforth 
the law only should engage his attention. How faithfully this 
resolution must have been kept is well evinced by that abundant 
knowledge of the law which ever afterwards distinguished him. 
He was admitted to practice in 1831, and for some few months 
afterwards kept an office in the city of Albany. The following 
year, however, found him again in Canandaigua, a partner with 
Mr. Spencer, whose daughter he soon after married. I find 
that on the 19th day of May, 1835, being then of the age of 
28, he was appointed district attorney of Ontario County; and 
that after a few months' service he resigned, his successor being 
appointed on the i6th day of August, 1836. 

This date fixes, as«nearly as I think it well can be done, the 
time when he came to this city to reside. He had just entered 
his thirtieth year. I do not know that I ever heard him state 
the especial reasons, if any there were, for his coming here. 
But it is not at all improbable that the wider field, for the ex- 
ercise of his abilities, which a new and growing city offered 
him, was the chief reason. Speaking of this important epoch 
of his life, I have heard him say, in public^ that when he came 
here, **he was almost unknown ; he had done nothing to make 
himself known; that he was acquainted with but very few, and 
that he had to work his way." Among these few were Dr. 
Thomas M. Foote, for a long time the editor of the Commercial 
Advertiser newspaper of this city, who had come to Buffalo in 
February of the same year, and the Rev. Dr. John C. Lord, who 
had already spent eleven years in tliis place. They had been 
fellow-students with Judge Clinton at Hamilton College. 

I cannot say that my acquaintance with Judge Clinton began 
until after he was a Judge of the Superior Court of this city. 
Likely enough I had spoken with him, because he was always 
affable, and yielded graciously to the ap|)roach of young people. 
But I surely never saw him engaged as counsel in the trial of any 
case, and therefore I can speak of him,-whil^in tjie i)ractice of 
the law, only as I adopt the language of others. At the meeting 
of the bar of Buffalo, called upon the occasion of his death, Mr. 
Sprague stated that he could not remember that the reputation 



of Judge Clinton, as a lawyer, had ever changed, from the be- 
ginning to the end : 

At 30 years, he was as eminent as at his death. At that period he 
was already distinguished by his peculiar style of eloquence, a style, 
not the result of education or training, but native and spontaneous. In 
1840, there were three men in this city, who were endowed with marvellous 
powers of speech, unequalled here, and unsurpassed in the State. These 
were George P. Barker, Henry K. Smith and George W. Clinton. The 
first two died early; the third lived to the ripeness of old age. Those who 
heard him only in his last years cannot appreciate his powers as an orator in 
his prime and ambition ; but there are some, no doubt, who can recollect how 
the fire flashed from his eye, and how his pointed gesture, his expressive coun- 
tenance, and the brilliancy and beauty of his diction thrilled an audience. 

After the lapse of thirty-six years (it is as long as that since 
Judge Clinton was promoted to the bench), few indeed can 
speak of him as an advocate or as counsel engaged in the trial of 
causes. His toils, his triumphs, his defeats as a practitioner 
(whatever they were) were closed before my time. I remember 
only the traditions which speak of his uncommon ability as a 
lawyer, his remarkable success as an advocate, and his industry 
and fidelity in all professional trusts and responsibilities. 

During the twenty years which he spent here in the practice 
of the law, the bar of Buffalo could scarcely have been surpassed 
by that of any other city of the State. Besides the distinguished 
lawyers mentioned by Mr. Sprague, there were here Millard 
Fillmore, Nathan K. Hall, Henry W. Rogers, Thomas T. Sher- 
wood, Solomon G. Haven, and others, men of renown in their 
profession. Among them, from the first to the last, Judu'c 
Clinton seems to have been conceded a place in the foremost 

In the law reports which cover the period of his life as a 
practitioner, his name occurs with such frequency as clearly to 
denote that he had his full share in the important litigations oi 
the day : and that his reputation as a lawyer was not confined to 
this city, is shown by the tact of his appointment, in 1S47, ^^ 
the oftice of .United States' EXistrict Attorney. 

The evidence of the flwor of his fellow-townsmen towards 
him will be found in his election to the office of Mayor, in the 
year 1844. He was among the first of those who were called to 


the chief magistracy of the city, by popular vote. His residence 
here, at the time of his election, covered only a little more than 
seven years. He was not a party candidate, and the vote was 
practically unanimous. 

In 1854 he was elected a Judge of the Superior Court of Buf- 
falo, and held that honorable position by repeated re-elections, 
until the first day of January, 1878, when, having attained his 
seventieth year, he gave way to his successor. Thus through the 
long period of twenty-four years he occupied a seat upon the 
judicial bench. During much the larger portion of that period 
he had for his associates in that court Joseph G. Masten and 
Isaac A. Verplanck : and surely I may say of them that not often 
have jurists of such abilities been brought together in one court. 

In the structure of their minds they were very dissimilar. 
Yet it must be said of them that each brought to the service of 
justice his full share of ability and aptitude for the judicial office. 
Judge Verplanck, I think did not have the learning of either of 
his associates, but his ready sense of justice, his rare common 
sense, and his perfect fairness compensated for all deficiencies, 
and made him most acceptable as an administrator of the law. 
Judge Masten was doubtless better acquainted with the current 
of judicial decisions, in this State and elsewhere, than either of 
the others, and was prompt to apply the latest exposition of 
legal science to the case before him. Curt he was, and at times 
severe ; and this occasionally brought dismay to the young and 
inexperienced practitioner, and, without question, once in 
awhile, embarrassed the meritorious side of the controversy. 
Judge Clinton was, I think, more deeply read in legal principles 
than his associates; and he was greatly their superior in general 
learning. Whether on the bench or off, he was always courteous, 
considerate and kind. He seemed never to forget that it is the 
first duty of the court to find where the merits of the case lie. 
Having become satisfied which side was right, that side, no 
matter how ably opposed, no matter how poorly defended, 
thereafter with him had an advantage because he tjiought it was 

I have no doubt that judges, as a rule, have carried with 
them into their courts so much of the common weakness of 


humanity, as to be gratified to find their decisions affirmed by 
the higher courts. Of that weakness, I think Judge CHnton had 
as small a share as any judge I ever knew. I have heard him say 
that having done his best to decide a case properly, his personal 
interest in it ceased, except so far as he might wish to learn, in 
case of a reversal, wherein it was thought he had erred. Let me 
here repeat of him what I have already said upon another 
occasion : — As a judge, I thought his self-control complete ; that 
he heard with untiring patience; that he was clear in his under- 
standing ; industrious in the examination of the cause before 
him; that he aimed at justice in his decisions; and that he was 
fearless of consequences. 

It has always been a regret of mine that a greater number of 
the judicial opinions of Judge Clinton were not in print. It is 
one thing to decide a case correctly ; it is quite another to put 
the reasons for the decision fairly on paper. The judge wlio 
undertakes it must have some capability of concise and perspicu- 
ous expression, or he will be likely to fail when he attempts to 
formulate the reasons which have guided him to his conclusions. 
That' was never the case with Judge Clinton. He knew the full 
extent of the meaning and the proper weight of every word 
which he had occasion to use. For these reasons his judicial 
opinions were as clear and elegant as any other compositions of 
his pen. 

Judge Clinton's industry in his profession was very great, and 
the ease with which he placed his thoughts on paper was mo^t 
remarkable. Hence I have always regretted that he did not 
leave, as his contribution to the literature of his profession, some 
work upon which his reputation, as a lawyer, could have 
securely rested. The master of an English style, equal, if not 
superior, to that of Chancellor Kent, I feel sure that if the labor 
which he gave to the pre{)aration of his digest of the decisior.^ 
of this State had been devoted to the discussion of sonic 
important topic of the law, he would have left behind him a 
memorial of his talents, which would have been treasured 
among the classics of the profession. 

Both before and after his elevation to the bench, in one 
respect, Judge Clinton's relation to the community was unicjue. 



Whenever the occasion happened that public opinion here 
demanded expression, how often it found that expression through 
his lips. You will remember how happily, on such occasions, 
he was accustomed to employ his rare natural gifts and his many 
and varied acquisitions and accomplishments in the discharge of 
the duty of the hour. Did we fully appreciate, while he was 
with us, how greatly we were favored in the fact that he was our 
fellow-townsman? I fear that we did not. What other city, in 
all the broad land, had his equal for such occasions? Surely, 
while he was with us, although others attained to higher places, 
or 'conducted greater enterprises, or filled for awhile a larger 
space in the public eye, surely, I say, while he was with us, he 
was our First Citizen. 

My closer acquaintance with Judge Clinton began with the 
foundation of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. It is not 
true that the first thought of the establishment of that institution 
originated in the mind of Judge Clinton. That credit must be 
given, I think, to the late Coleman T. Robinson. How many 
meetings, preliminary to the organization of the Society were 
held, I do not know. But I well remember that some time in 
the early part of November, 1861, I was invited to meet Mr. 
Robinson and several other persons, whom he had called to- 
gether, to consider the practicability of organizing such a society 
in this city. Judge Clinton was one of the number who were 
present. He was called to the chair ; and it was determined that 
the society should be established. I was not at all surprised to 
meet Judge Clinton at the meeting, because I had long known 
that he had been a devoted lover of nature, and that in early 
life he had given some attention to several branches of science. 
I was rejoiced that he proved to be the choice of the assembly as 
the first President of the Society. The inaugural meeting was 
appointed to be held on the 5th of December following. At 
that meeting Judge Clinton, most felicitously, as I thought, out- 
lined the work of the Society. He said : 

It will brinj; together in its collections all the plants anfl animals ot" the 
surrounding country, all its shells, insects, fishes, birds, beasts and aniniated 
things. It will collect and bring together all our minerals and specimens of 
everything that can show or illustrate the geology of that territory. It will 


arrange all its collections in the most perfect order for the inspection of an en- 
lightened curiosity and for the uses of the student of nature. It will originate 
and maintain a system of correspondence and exchange with similar societies 
and with naturalists of eminence throughout our country and throughout the 
world ; and so will afford to this community an eye-knowledge of the geology 
and the faunas and floras of foreign lands as well as our own dear country. It 
will form and open a library, embracing all books necessary to the attainment 
of a knowledge of natural history and the prosecution of its study. Its pro- 
ceedings will record the discoveries of its members and others, and difiuse 
useful knowledge among men. 

I had already been attracted to botany as a recreation, and 
was acquainted, in some degree, with the characteristic plants 
belonging to our flora. Upon an allotment of the several de- 
partments of natural science among the members of the Society, 
I found myself associated with Judge Clinton upon the Com- 
mittee on Botany. It was our self-imposed task to collect and 
preserve for the Society all the native and naturalized plants of 
the neighborhood. No definite plan of action was then thought 
of. What should be done, or what attempted, was left entirely 
to the developments of time. I had no anticipation of the happi- 
ness which was in store for me. It was not, I think, until April 
of the following year, that either Judge Clinton or myself made 
an excursion. Then, strangely enough, without any agreement 
or knowledge of the purpose of the other, we met in a piece of 
wood in the southeastern portion of the city. Each of us had 
already collected something; and after comparing what we had 
found, we spent the remainder of the day together, returning to 
the city at nightfall. Thereafter for several years our JGurne\s 
together were very frequent. The counties of Chautau([ua. 
Cattaraugus, Wyoming and Niagara were brought within the 
range of our investigations, and the region across the river fre- 
quently visited. It is not true that we always went together. 
Often our explorations were in fields widely apart; anq J'ldge 
Clinton's excursions were certainly much more numeroL'5 than 
mine. But I saw him frequently, and often for the who'.e day 
together. > ' ^ 

The beautiful and attractive scenery of Chautauq:a and 
Cattaraugus counties grew familiar, and the unfrequenttd ::';oks. 
where strange plants nestled, the thick woods, the shaded dells 


and the wild fastnesses about the Falls of Niagara and at Portage 
became known to us as they had never been known before. It 
was upon these occasions that I came to understand the depths 
of Judge Clinton's learning. In the lore which pertains to the 
wilds I never knew his superior. He was a wonderful observer ; 
and on such excursions as we made together, it seemed, greatly to 
my pleasure, as though my own perceptions were multiplied and 
that I was enabled to see with his eyes, as well as with my own. 

I am sure that one of Judge Clinton's chief characteristics, as 
a naturalist, was his love of truth. The Fact, and the Fact alone, 
was what brought him delight. He had no love for mere specu- 
lative science. Indeed, to him, no speculation, however ingen- 
ious or plausible, was science. He wanted demonstration, not 
theory; proof, not hypothesis. Fact to him was like money on 
deposit. Speculation, like the discounted paper of a bankrupt — 
the one always ready for immediate and constant use; the other 
likely to return to its endorser, dishonored. His mental vision 
was so undisturbed and unperverted by theory that, unlike many 
other people of science, he was rarely or never in error in any 
observation which he reported. 

Whilst, indeed he gave to the vegetable world so much of his 
attention, the habits of our native birds and wild animals were 
constantly observed ; and in the living creatures of our lakes and 
streams, he always found a fascinating study. There was no one 
in this region who knew our fish so well or could speak with such 
intelligence of their habits and their haunts. Those of you 
who can recall his contributions of some forty years ago to one 
of our city papers, will bear witness to the grace with which he 
spoke of our adjacent waters and of the tribes by which they are 
inhabited. It is said that some English writer called him the 
Izaak Walton of .-\merica. I do not know who made the remark, 
but ir seems to me that the appellation was bestowed ujjon him, 
not because they were at all alike in style, but because their topic 
was the same, and each possessed the rare art of making his 
reader a companion. In English, pure and' undefiled, Judge 
Clinton was the equal of Walton ; but where in \yalton i.^ that 
sweet play of fancy which irradiated, like a sunbeam, all of 
Judge Clinton's writing, and where that e.xquisite choice of 


words which no one ever thought that he could improve ? I was 
never with him in any one of his piscatorial excursions. Seldom, 
I think, did he desire companionship on such occasions, and I 
remember to have met him in his boat upon the river, when, 
indeed, his friendly salutation was ready, but it was not difficult 
to see that he had sought the solitude of the waters that he might 
be alone. Surely a string of fish was the least return which he 
obtained from his aquatic pursuits. I do not doubt that the clear 
stream, the blue sky, the fresh, pure air and the opportunity for 
undisturbed self-communion were by far the greater attractions. 

But the frequency of his visits to the river made him an 
authority in regard to its finny tribes, even among those who 
were fishermen by profession; and I remember that once, while 
he was a Judge of the Superior Court, he was called as a witness 
before a justice of the peace to give testimony in a controversy 
in which the specific identity of a certain kind of fish was the 
important question. As I recall the case, no other witness 
was examined. 

I dare not say that Judge Clinton was the first discoverer of 
many species of plants (the fungi excepted), which were before 
unknown to science. I am not sure that he ever had that good 
fortune in a single instance. In fact, such has been the labor 
bestowed upon the botany of the eastern portion of the United 
States, that the discovery of a new species is here scarcely to be 
expected. The collector must visit new lands in order to bring 
to light new species. But here, in Western New York and on 
the opposite shores of Lake Erie, his assiduity was rewarded by 
the discovery of many species, new to this region, the announce- 
ment of which wa^ often a sensation in the botanical world. He 
collected largely, and thus was able to exchange the plants of 
this vicinity for. those of many other portions of the world. In 
this enormous labor he was animated by a single thought — the 
building up of a great herbarium in our Society of Natural 
Sciences. He lived to see his design acconijUished ; and, whil-t 
it may be said that he had,some'hel[) in the work of collection. 
the still more onerous one of mounting and arranging them in 
order, as well as naming and indexing them, was done by his 
hand alone. It was the labor ot years, a labor of love, which, I 


know, brought to him, during its performance, very much of 
satisfaction. But it was a satisfaction purely unselfish, for the 
work was one the usefulness of which had to be left in the 
main to the generations which are yet to come. Upon his 
departure from our city, to enter the service of the State, as the 
editor of the Clinton Papers, the Society, in grateful recognition 
of the value of his labors in its behalf, ordained that henceforth 
his collection of plants should be known as the Clinton Her- 
barium. And so it will be known forever. 

Good citizens of Buffalo : You may build for yourselves 
monuments of marble or of granite, to mark your last resting- 
places among the dead : — but it will be very hard for you to raise 
any memorial stone for your graves, which shall outlast this 
great, unselfish labor of Judge Clinton, or be more likely to 
transmit your names to the grateful remembrance of those who 
shall come after you. 

I have asked the question, did we, while he was with us, 
fully appreciate how greatly we were favored in the fact that 
he was our fellow-townsman ? Had his home been in Boston, 
with what elation and pride would the people of that city have 
lavished their honors upon him, while he lived — with what 
affection and reverence would they have embalmed his memory 
when dead I Be not offended when I hold the mirror up to 
nature. But has this City or this State ever honored, as they 
ought, the memories of the best and noblest of their citizens? 
Where, then, is the statue which per[)etuates the face and 
figure of the great statesman, who, regardless of obloquy and 
ridicule and spite, carried to success the project of the Erie 
Canal and placed forever in the hands of the people of this 
State the keys of empire? And if the good people of this 
city were to cause the scattered writings of Judge Clinton to be 
gathered up and be given again to the press, how could they, let 
me ask, by one single act, do more honor to him and to them- 
selves? Who will collect and reprint that must charming series 
of papers, his ** Notes of a Botanist,", which so^ many of our 
people looked for, every Sunday (during their publication) with 
eagerness of desire, and read with constantly renewed delight ? 
The literature of Buffalo has surely nothing better to exhibit. 


Judge Clinton was a learner to the last. ''Life to him was 
an unbroken lesson, pleasant with the sweets of knowledge and 
the consciousness of improvement." He was a teacher as well ; 
and he held it as a blessed office *' to pour into the souls of oth- 
ers, as into celestial urns, the sweet waters of knowledge." 
One of your own number* — one, who knows himself full well 
how to clothe good thought in good words — when speaking of 
Judge Clinton, whilst his presence here still gladdened our 
hearts, said : 

He is our universal educator. Not to speak of his eminent professional 
career, he has taught us the sweet humanities and that unbought grace of life, 
which are the highest and the purest charm. Nature's own child, he has un- 
folded to us her mysteries, as she has revealed them to him, Irom tree and 
shrub and flower and her myriad schools of life. For him, nature unveils her 
face, and fills his ear with music and his soul with all per\-ading harmonies. 

It is a saying, which has been attributed to Judge Story, that 
*'a man is to be measured by the horizon of his mind : — whether 
it narrows itself to the village, the county or the State in which 
he lives, or comprehends within its scope the continent or tiie 
world." Measured by a standard like this, how {^w there are 
who are to be counted as great. Yet I think that Judge Clinton 
would have borne the test. He loved this city with a true devo- 
tion, but he loved the whole country also, and he loved his race. 
The sentiment of Terence found a full response in his heart : — 
Nothing that was human was alien to his regard. 

Judge Clinton was a man of strong religious feeling. His 
faith in God and a future life was a matter of the most earnest 
conviction. The unbelief, so prevalent in modern days, did not 
affect him. I have no doubt that his rejection of the Darwinian 
hypothesis was the more ready, because he saw. or thought 
he saw, that it led to one inevitable conclusion — the uselessness 
of a Creator. 

But he placed his rejection of this popular doctrine upon 
other grounds as well. I quote from an address of his which I 
think has never been in type: ' ^ 

How difficult it must be to restrain the impatience of generous youth, and 
train it to the slow and sure attainment of knowledge. It burns with desire 

* The Hon. James O. Putnam. 




for absolute truth, where only probability is attainable, and too readily accepts 
theory as fact rather than as an undisproven conjecture. True it is that no one 
can verify all facts, and we must take many things on trust ; but in investiga- 
tions of any kind, it is dangerous to be wedded to a theory. The investigations 
of a theorist are not to be trusted, and his physical as well as mental sight is, 
colored by his wishes. Tropes and similes, are but ornaments; and sad, 
indeed, in an intellectual point of view, is the sight of that man who uses 
them, whether wittingly or not, as arguments. . Men often do so, and are sure 
to go astray. I speak with great diffidence, but am very confident that Mr. 
4 Darwin's work, entitled " The Origin of Species by Natural Selection," is a 
glaring example of the danger of such a course ; and he, it is very evident, is a 
diligent investigator, and a man of great learning; and, as I am assured, he is 
also an amiable and modest gentleman, and means to be impartial and candid. 
Collecting a few authentic, familiar facts, showing the metamorphoses of the 
tame pigeon, and of some other domesticated animals and a few plants, and 
the fact that most plants produce innumerous seeds, and in the same localities 
and under special circumstances, displace each other, he adopts or invents a 
trope, " the struggle for life." Plants are engaged in this struggle of life. As 
things now are upon this earth, they were sown by God, like the dragon's 
teeth of the old fable, and spring up to battle with and exterminate each 
other; and then, as it seems to me, he reasons from his trope. All his added 
facts, are exaggerated and distorted by it, and guesses become indisputable 
truths; and so he invents a new demi-god, and calls it natural selection, and 
sets up a shadowy doctrine of transmutation, and all his reasoning ends in this 
grand conclusion : '* I believe that animals and plants have descended from at 
most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal number. Analogy 
would lead me one step farther, namely : — that all animals and plants have 
descended from the same one prototype." Now, as this theory would permit 
God as creator, it is really unnecessary. To infinite power, it was equally 
easy to create one prototype, whether animal or vegetable, or of an interme- 
diate nature, and enable it to vary into all the forms of life, whether past or 
present, from the simple conferva to the oak, the apple and the palm ; and 
from the monad to man ; or to create £^ll species, past and present, endowing 
them with the capacity to vary with circumstances, even as they do, without 
losing their identity. Its truth or untruth can in no way affect the firm foun- 
dations of religion ; and as the transmutation of a species requires vast spaces 
of time, its truth can be of no immediate consef[uence. But with all deference 
to that gentleman, I say— his trope is false. If one will consider how differ- 
ent plants afl^ect diiTerent climes, localities and seasons, and their orderly suc- 
cession, he must reject the trope. Look, for instance, in earliest spring, upon 
the low margin of that river, skirting the meadow. It is bare»of all vegetation, 
save a few clumps of willow and of aider, just beginning to hang out their 
unopened catkins to the sun. Soon that naked space is sprinkled with the 
Erigenia, the blue and yellow violets and the Erythroniums ; and as they fade 



and mature their seeds, upspring the Maypink, Jacob's ladder, Solomon's 
seal, and I know not how many other forms of grace and beauty, to be in 
their turn succeeded by the cow-parsnip and the angelica, and they by others 
and by others, until midsummer sends up her tall grasses, and autumn covers 
the tangled mass of herbage with her gay asters, sunflowers and goldenrods : 
and then comes winter tp end the ever-varying and orderly display and close 
it with her snowy pall. All have, without substantial interference, exhibited 
their beauty to mankind, performed their offices of love to animals, to insects 
and each other, and have matured their seeds and provided for the perpetua- 
tion of their kinds. And so it is with our fields and forests. First outburst 
from the teeming earth, amid the leafless trees, the modest spring beauty, the 
sweet Mayflower, the white and blue hepaticas ; and when the trees have put 
forth their foliage, then upspring, in succession, the long train of flowers and 
fruit, which love the shade. There is no waste. Nature cares for the species 
and for every species, and for the sum of all created things; and she inter- 
connects them in such a manner and to such an extent as true science loves lo 
look into reverently. She has abundantly provided for the continuance of 
every species ; and, as to their surplus seeds, they are put by for exigencies 
and given to unnumbered animals for food and those, not so used, decay, and 
furnish pabulum for other and often nobler growths. When I regard liiese 
manifest facts, if I must personify plants and use tropes, I am compelled to 
say that the species of plants show all courtesy and kindness to each other. 
and exhibit for each other the tenderest consideration. But it is pleasant to 
accept the truth, that God's glory is manifested in vegetation, and that in Mis 
beneficence, He has clothed our earth with the ever-changeful beauty and 
utility of innumerous species, not one of which, without good cause, shall be 
permitted to perish, so long as seed-time and harvest shall endure. 

I wish, since I have the opportunity, that I could say all 
that I would like of the qualities of heart, as well as mind. 
which characterized Judge Clinton. But I feel that with yuu, 
who knew him so well, it is unnecessary, and I will not attempt 
it. Let it be deemed enotigh that what I esteemed the best side 
of his nature, was that which compelled the affection of all who 
knew him. We could not but love him. His presence, wher- 
ever he went, was felt as a blessing. Yet there was no oster.ia- 
tion in the display of his large-heartedness. He made no parade 
of his kindness or humanity. There was no cant in his speccii 
or anything that resembled" it^ Tiiat he was kind, that he was 
humane was proved by the consta'^it, steady, unfailing tenor ot 
his life. Let me illustrate one aspect of his nature. In our 
many wanderings together, you may well suppose, that oucn. 
very often, men of every party and of every sect, their act:on> 


and their utterances came up in conversation and were subjects 
of discussion. Believe me that never at such times, or at any 
time, was there uttered in my hearing by Judge Clinton any 
remark which bordered upon uncharitableness or indicated 
towards any one the smallest acerbity of feeling. He preferred 
to look upon the better side of men, and rather than speak ill of 
any one, he remained silent. 

We all know how excellent was Judge Clinton's professional 
life, and how clear he was in the great office which he held so 
long among us. Yet I have sometimes asked myself the ques- 
tion, '* Would it not have been better for his fame if Providence 
had led him into some different pursuit in life?" I have thought 
what an admirable teacher he would have been in one of our 
great institutions of learning. How grandly would he have 
presided over the affairs of one of our universities. Why would 
he not have ranked with Irving, if, like Irving, he had turned 
his thoughts entirely to letters? As an English writer, his style 
was as sweet, as pure, as clear ; but he would have graced his 
theme with a learning of which Irving had, in comparison, but 
little. If he had been called to minister at the altar, how 
reverently and how impressively would he have interpreted the 
oracles of God ! 

But such speculations are vain : and it is enough of praise, as 
it is enough of fame, to say of him that he faithfully performed 
the duties of the place to which Providence called him. 

I have always deemed his death most happy. Glad, indeed, 
and very thankful would I have been if his life and health could 
have continued some years longer. But that was hardly to be 
expected. He had already pissed the age of his father and his 
father's father. A few more years, if he could have had them, 
would, likely enough, have only proven years of physical 
infirmity, suffering and decay. Better then, that it was, as from 
the beginning, it was appointed to be. 

On the yth of September, 18S5, he indulged himself in a 
botanical ramble in the suburbs of Albanv-r visitinc;- on his wav 
the Rural Cemetery. There, within a short time after he had 
passed through the gates, he was found dead. Only a few 
moments before he had been seen gathering botanical specimens, 


apparently in as perfect health as usually attends upon old age. 
Thus, at the very close of life, he was in the enjoyment of the 
things which he had always loved — the green turf, the blue sky, 
and the sweet, fresh air. 

"Then, with no fiery, throbbing pain, 
No slow gradations of decay. 
Death broke at once the vital chain. 
And freed his soul the nearest way." 

If he had died of a lingering disease, such as often afflicts 
aged men, better would it have been for him to have been 
solaced, in the parting hour, by the loving presence of kindred 
and of friends. But since the anguish of dissolution was but for 
a moment, it was surely well that this venerable priest of nature 
should give up his life in the open temple of the Most High, 
where he had ministered so long, amid the quiring of the birds, 
which he loved so much, and the incense of the flowers, which 
he knew so well. 

I presume it has seldom been the fortune of any one to gather 
flowers for his own burial. Yet it is the fact that those, which 
Judge Clinton held in his hand when he was found dead, were 
encoffined with him. To me there seemed in this a great pro- 
priety. They were the blossoms of the sweet clover. The plant 
is one of little beauty and is very common. I never knew that 
with him it was an especial favorite. In fact, I know of no 
quality which it possesses that would naturally commend it to 
his attention — save only this : when a branch is broken from 
the parent stem and it begins to wither, it e.xhales a pleasant 
odor and one which long continues. I have no knowledge that 
Judge Clinton ever moralized upon the plant, but I know that 
like it, *' he could translate the stubborness of fortune " into the 
sweetness of patience, submission and content. 

The announcement of his death pierced, like an arrow, the 
hearts oi his many friends all over the State. The bar of Buffalo 
met in its accustomed way ; and those who had been associated 
with him upon the bench, ^or"iivthe walks of private life, laid on 
his bier many sweet offerings of their respect and love. The 
Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, to whom his benefactions 
had been so constant and valuable, placed on their records an 


expression of their deep-felt sorrow. The Board of Regents, of 
which honorable body Judge Clinton was Vice-Chancellor, at 
their next meeting after his decease, marked their bereavement 
in eloquent words. Regent Curtis said : — 

Sprung from men with a genius for public affairs and renowned in the 
public service, a high political ambition would have been natural to Judge 
Clinton. But a noble independence and candor of disposition and a deep 
delight in simple and friendly intercourse with nature, made him a student 
with Linnreus, a loiterer with Izaak Walton, and a shrewd observer with 
Henry Thoreau; and drew his heart away from the contentions of politics to 
a more tranquil life, from which even the offer of a seat in the Cabinet of 
President Buchanan could not divert him. 

Judge Clinton was the founder of the Society of Natural Sciences in 
Buffalo, and lectured frequently upon geology and botany; and the last study 
was his special consolation and delight. Had there been in Buffalo, as in the 
English Universities, the office of a public orator, Judge Clinton would have 
worn its laurel, so constant and so various were his addresses upon all 
occasions of public interest and ceremony. 

In 1856, he was elected a Regent of the University, and in 1858, he 
completed a Digest of the law reports to that date. After leaving the bench, 
he was appointed to edit the Clinton Papers, a collection of great importance 
to the State and country; and to this most fitting and congenial task the last 
years of his life were devoted. His annual reports of progress in that work, 
full of characteristic insight, of humorous appreciation and of patriotic 
enthusiasm, were among the most interesting events of the annual meeting of 
the board. His judicial and sagacious mind, his large knowledge of the 
interests and activities of the University, and a gentle conservation of temper 
gave to Judge Clinton's views great and just weight. He had a certain 
chivalry of nature, which, in moments of high excitement, inspired him with 
fier)' eloquence, to which his towering form, his flashing eye and swift, 
impetuous speech lent great impressiveness. His kindly smile and courteous 
dignity of manner reflected well the purity of his character and his peaceful 
life, which his fond association with nature kept always fresh and unspoiled. 
The end of this modest, serviceable life was as happy as it was sudden. 
Already an old man, Judge Clinton walked out in the autumn afternoon, to 
find the latest lingering flowers of the year, and in that search, which had been 
the joy of his life, without warning or failure or decay of his faculties, his life 
suddenly ended. Nature seemed to have reclaimed the old man, whose 
heart the love of her had kept as warm and unwaged as a child's. Like 
Enoch, in that tranquil, beneficent, blameless life, he walked with God, and 
God took him. 


One glorious summer's day in the year 1850, it was the office 
of Judge Clinton to consecrate and solemnly set apart, for the 
burial of the dead, that beautiful piece of ground where so many 
of our friends are sleeping, known to us as Forest Lawn. I 
esteem his discourse upon that occasion as one of the choicest 
productions of his genius : — tender, eloquent and appropriate, 
and animated throughout with the most exalted Christian feeling. 
It closed with these words: 

Mindful of the resurrection, in our climate annually typified by Nature, 
we would place our dear ones to slumber among the flowers, by the running 
streams, on the hillsides, among the monumental oaks, where the birds build 
their nests and sing ; where the zephyrs play, and all is peaceful beauty. We 
would that the "first roses of the year" should shed their fragrance over 
their tombs ; that winter's snow should lie lightly on them, and that returning 
spring should "deck their hallowed mould" with a fresher and 

"[■a sweeter sod, 
Than Fancy's foot had ever trod." 

The proprietors of this most beautiful domain have sought to gratify these 
natural and laudable feelings, and to supply what was, till now, the prominent 
deficiency of Buffalo. For one, from the bottom of my heart, I thank them. 
Here, in these " arched walks of twilight groves and shadows brown," 

" The rude axe, with heaved stroke, 
Will ne'er be heard ; " 

but the dead will repose in solemn quietude and safety. There is, too, in the 
lawn above us, the rich fields and waving woods, a variety which can never 
stale, and Taste has full scope to gratify Affection's every wish. I cannot 
assert that more beautiful grounds have nowhere been devoted to such sacred 
purposes ; but will you not justify me in saying that there could not be, in the 
vicinity of Buffalo, a more appropriate and precious offering to them than this 
Forest Lawn ? 

May it be ever sacred I For here "the wicked will cease from troubling, 
and the weary will find rest." Here grief will experience comfort, and the 
wounded soul find balm. Here careless sleepers will awaken from holy 
dreams, exclaiming, " Surely, the Lord is in this place." May it be to them, 
to us, to all, " none other than the house of God," and prove "The* Gate of 

In the name, and at the requesLof the proprietors, with your concurrence, 
in the presence of God and His good angels,^! most prayerfully and reverently 
sever this stream, these groves and gently swelling knolls, these ampie fields, 
that smiling upland, and the deep-seated rocky ledge which skirts it, from all 
ordinary uses, and dedicate and devote them to the dead, forever. 

OF GEORGE W.CLINTON. 225 -'^^<^ 

On the nth of September, 1885, the loving hands of friends, 
to whom his memory is precious, bore his lifeless body tenderly, 
mournfully, reverently, to its last resting-place in the beautiful 
grounds, which nearly forty years before he had thus consecrated 
as a place of sepulture. 






. /^ 

^ • ;.*^>,■,•■ 




Dean of St. Catharines. 

On the farm of a man named Chester Henderson, close to 
what is known as the Talbot Road, and about three miles inland 
from Port Stanley, on the north shore of Lake Erie, a little over 
one hundred miles west of Buffalo, there is a circular rim of earth 
enclosing about two and a half acres of land. On the 29th of 
last September, accompanied by Mr. James H. Coyne, who has 
written a valuable monograph on the early tribes of this section 
of the country,* I visited this historic embankment and secured 
photographs, which, unfortunately, give but a feeble idea of its 
height and extent. Within the fort and north of it the trees are 
still standing, but it is only a few years since the primeval 
forest shrouded it from profanation. Rooted on the raised earth 
are venerable chronological witnesses of its great age. On the 
stump of a maple we counted two hundred and forty rings, and 
on that of an elm, which measured four feet in diameter, were 
two hundred and sixty-six. The average height of the bank was 
three feet, and allowing for the subsidence of the soil, it was 
probably at one time four teet high. A small stream runs along 
this elliptical enclosure, which for about half its course has cut 
for itself, before leaving the fort, a bed about seveTi feet below 

*" The Country of the Neutrals. . . . from Ch.implain to Talbot." By James H. 
Coyne. Map, 8vo, pp. 44, St. Thomas, Ont., 1895.— Ed. 


the general level. To the south, where this stream trickles 
through an opening, there is a rude and desolate gap, and indi- 
cations of what was once a gateway. The walls terminating at 
this entrance are squarely shouldered, and show a deftness and 
skill of no mean order on the part of the builders. 

These embankments are familiarly known as the " Southwold 
Earthworks," and are probably the best ruins of an Indian 
palisaded village to be found in Western Canada. The plan of 
the fort is purely aboriginal, and the labor involved and patience 
required in its construction must, with their primitive tools, have 
been very great. A plaster model of the fort is now in the 
museum of the Canadian Institute, Toronto. In the ash heaps 
and kitchen-middens in its immediate neighborhood there was 
not found anything that would give the slightest hint of European 
presence. Flint spear and arrow heads, stone casse-tetes (or 
skull-crackers), fragments of pottery, clippings of flint, rubbing 
stones, pipes of steatite, and clay and mealing stones have from 
time to time been dug up; but no article bearing a trace of cop- 
per or iron was found. 

More than two hundred and fifty years have passed away 
since the fort was constructed, and the hardy settlers of the 
region still look with wonder and curiosity upon the relic of a 
vanished people, whose origin is to them as much a mystery as 
the law of gravitation. Indeed, the little that the students (^i 
ethnology and archceology know of this peninsular tribe, is 
gathered from the writings of the early missionaries, and col- 
lected from the embankments, mounds, ossuaries, separate 
graves and village sites. From the tools and weapons of bone, 
instruments of horn and stone, we are left to draw our own con- 
clusions, and reduced to the necessity of surmising and guessinir. 
The prehistoric Neutrals are in the age of the world but of \c>- 
teniay, yet it is easier to present the lover of technological lore 
with illustrations of the arts and industries of Egypt and Assyria. 
than to illustrate from actual specimens of household utensils, 
working tools and ceremoniaMmplements, the social and dome- 
tic state of this Nortlf Americati tribe. If Sanson's map I e 
accurate, within these earthwalls was the Neutral village of Alexis, 
visited by the heroic Rrebeufand the saintly Chaumonot in tlie 
winter of 1640-41. 


But let us reconstruct the village, and people it as it was when 
the devoted priests entered the gateway already mentioned. 
When the chief men of the eighty or ninety families composing 
a Neutral village selected this site to be their abiding place for 
twelve or fifteen years, they examined with characteristic sagacity 
its savage surroundings. Its seclusion in the gloomy forests, the 
fertility of the land, the gurgling brook winding through and 
around the giant elms ; the abundance and variety of berries, and 
the succulent beech nuts, that fell in showers every autumn, 
promised them years of indolent repose. They are satisfied with 
their selection and begin at once their new village. The ditch 
around the town is dug with primitive wooden spades, the earth 
carried or thrown up on the inside, trees are felled by burning 
and chopping with stone axes, and split into palisades or pickets. 
These are now planted on the embankment in triple rows, that 
are lashed together with pliable twigs and strips of elm bark. 
Sheets of bark are fastened on the inside to the height of six or 
seven feet, and a timber gallery or running platform constructed, 
from which heavy stones may be cast, or boiling water poured 
upon the heads of the attacking Iroquois or formidable Mas- 
coutin. Notwithstanding the enormous labor expended upon its 
construction, this fortified embankment scarcely deserves the 
name of a fort, but it is at least as strong and well built as those 
of the enemy. Within the inclosure cluster the lodges of the 
tribe, formed of thick sheets of bark fastened to upright poles 
and cross-beams, covered with bark and skins. Many of the 
lodges house from eight to ten families. The fires are on the 
ground on a line drawn through the center, with openings in the 
roof, which serve for chimneys and windows. Here grizzly 
warriors, shriveled squaws, young boys aspiring to become 
braves, and girls ripening into maturity, noisy children and dogs 
that never bark, mingle indiscriminately together. There is no 
modesty to be shocked, no decency to be insulted, no refinement 
of feeling to be wounded; for modesty, decency and refinement 
of feeling were dead ages before the tribe began its western 
wanderings. In these ancient wilds, clearings are madfe, branches 
hacked off from the wind-felled trees, piled around the standing 
timber and set on fire, or the trees girdled, through whose leaf- 


less branches the sun ripens the Indian-corn, beans, tobacco and 
sunflowers, planted in the spring by the squaws, and whose seeds 
were probably obtained in the remote past from Southern tribes. 
The people who inhabit this village are Attiwandarons, or mem- 
bers of the great Neutral nation, whose tribal grounds stretched 
from the Genesee to the Detroit Narrows. 

But before entering upon an epitomized history of this popu- 
lous and formidable nation, one of whose fortified towns we have 
just resurrected, it will be expedient rapidly to outline the terri- 
torial and tribal divisions east of the Mississippi, when in 1612, 
Champlain entered the St. Lawrence and began the ascent of the 
Ottawa. All the nations whose tribal lands drained into tlie 
valley of the St. Lawrence River were branches of two great 
families: the roving Algonquin, the Bedouins of the mighty 
wilderness, who lived by fishing and hunting, and the Huron- 
Iroquois, hunters and tillers of the soil, whose warriors were the 
boldest and fiercest of North America. The Algonquins were 
divided and subdivided into families and tribes. The Gaspians, 
Basques, Micmacs and the Papinachois or Laughters roamed the 
forest on both sides of the Great River, as far as Tadoussac and 
Cacouna. Along the banks of the gloomy Saguenay, and into 
the height of land forming the watershed towards Lake Nimis- 
kan, the Mistassini, the Montagnais, the Tarcapines and White- 
fish hunted in that desolation of wilderness and fished in its 
solitary lakes and streams. Ascending the Ottawa River to the 
Alumette Islands, tribes of lesser note paid tribute to the One 
Eyed nation, called by the French, ''Du Borgne," from the 
fact that for three generations their war chiefs had but one eye. 
They held the Ottawa and exacted tribute from other tribes 
passing up or down the river. On the borders of Lake Nipis- 
sing, dwelt the Nipissings or Sorcerers, while to the north and 
;iorthwest were the hunting grounds of the Abbitibis and Temis- 
camingues, after whom Lake Temiscamingue is named- North 
of Lake Huron, running from the mouth of French River and 
circling around the coast to Sault Ste. Marie, roved five or six 
hordes of Algonquins. The writings of Brother Gabriel Sagard. 
the map of Champlain, 1632, that of Ducreux, 1660, the Jesuit 
Relations and the memoirs of Nicholas Perrot certify to the 



hunting and fishing grounds of these Algonquin Bedouins. The 
Bruce peninsula and the great Manitoulin, '*The Island of 
Ghosts," were the home of the Ottawas, or Large Ears, called by 
the French, Cheveux-Releevs (Raised Hairs), from the peculiar 
manner in which they wore their hair. Further west were the 
Amikones or Beavers, the Sauteurs or Chippewas, including the 
Mississagues and Saugeens. The roving hordes that stretched 
from the headwaters of Lake Superior to the Hudson Bay, the 
Wild Oats, Puants and Pottawatamies, the Mascoutin, or Nation 
of Fire, the Aliamis, the Illinois, were all branches of one Al- 
gonquin tree. The great Huron-Iroquois family included the 
Tiontates or Petuns, the Hurons or Wyandots, the Andastes of 
the Susquehanna, the Tuscaroras of North Carolina, the five 
Iroquois nations, the Eries and the Attivvandarons or Neutrals. 
The tribes of this family were scattered over an irregular area of 
inland territory, stretching from Western Canada to North Car- 
olina. The northern members roved the forests about the Great 
Lakes, while the southern tribes lived in the fertile valleys 
watered by the rivers flowing from the Alleghany Mountains. 

A problem of ethnology, which will perhaps never be solved, 
confronts us in the study of the aboriginal people of this section 
of our country. What were the causes that led to the migration 
and settlement of the tribes in Western New York and South- 
western Ontario? At what time did the Iroquois separate from 
the Hurons, and the Attiwandaron or Neutrals claim independ- 
ent sovereignty? When did the exodus of the Neutrals occur, 
and what was the route followed by this adventurous clan? 

Mr. David Boyle, the Canadian archaeologist, in his ** Notes 
on Primitive Man," claims that the Neutrals were among the 
first to leave the main body. '* Regarding their movement," 
he continues, " there is not even a tradition, but their situation 
beyond the most westerly of the Iroquois, and the fact that they 
had no share in the Huron-Iroquois feuds, point to an earlier 
and wholly inde})endent migration. It is known also that their 
language varied but slightly from that of-the Hurons, which 
there is reason to regard as the parent tongue, and the inference 
is that their separation must have taken place from the Wyandot 
side of the mountain down by the sea, long before the great dis- 


ruption compelled the older clans to seek a refuge on the 
Georgian Bay." 

Dr. Hale, in his ''Book of Iroquois Rites," expresses the 
opinion that, centuries before the discovery of Canada, the 
ancestors of the Huron-Iroquois family dwelt near the mouth of 
the St. Lawrence. As their numbers increased dissensions arose. 
The hive swarmed, and band after band moved off to the west 
and south. Following the south shore of Lake Ontario, after 
ascending the St. Lawrence, the main bodies of the migrants, 
afterwards known as the' Hurons or Wyandots, reached the 
Niagara Peninsula. Remaining here for a period, they eventually 
rounded the western end of the lake, and in the course of time 
took permanent possession of the country lying to the south of 
the Georgian Bay. After a while they were joined by the Tion- 
tates, who followed the Ottawa route. This, however, is but 
tradition, and in it there is nothing to account for the migra- 
tions and settlement of the Neutrals along the north shore of 
Lake Erie, and eastward till they reached the country of the 
Iroquois. The first authentic mention of this powerful nation, 
we find in Champlain's writings, where he tells us that in 1616, 
when he visited the Georgian Bay region they were then in 
friendly alliance with the Ottawas and Andastes, and were wag- 
ing war on the Nation of Fire, whose tribal lands extended 
through Michigan, as far east as Detroit. When Cham plain was 
on a visit to the Ottawas, he expressed a wish to visit the Neu- 
trals, but it was intimated to him that his life would be in dan- 
ger, and he would better not undertake the journey. In 1626, 
Father Daillon, a member of the Franciscan Order, was evangel- 
izing the tribes of the Huron Peninsula, when he received a 
letter from Father LeCaron, the Superior, instructing him to 
visit the great Neutral tribe or Attiwandarons, and to preach to 
them the saving truths of Christianity. Joseph de la Roche 
Daillon was a man of extraordinary force of character, *'as dis- 
tinguished," wrote Champlain, '* for his noble birth and talents, 
as he was remarkable for his lumiility and piety, who abandoned 
the honors and glory of the world fop the humiliation and pov- 
erty of a religious life." Of the aristocratic house of the Da 
Ludes, society tendered him a courteous welcome, the army and 



the professions were opened to him, wealth with its correspond- 
ing advantages, too, were his, when he startled his friends, 
shocked society and grieved his family by declaring his inten- 
tion of becoming a member of the Order of St. Francis, a reli- 
gious association of bare-footed beggars. The ranks of the 
secular clergy offered him the probabilities of a mitre, and the 
hope of a Cardinal's hat. His family's wealth and position in 
the State, his father's influence at Court, his own talents and the 
prestige of an aristocratic name, all bespoke for him promotion 
in the Church. His friends in vain pleaded with him to asso- 
ciate himself with the secular priesthood, and when they learned 
that he was not only inflexible in his resolution to join the Fran- 
ciscans, but had asked to be sent into the frozen wilds of Canada, 
they thought him beside himself. He left France in the full 
flush of his ripening manhood, and, for the love of perishing 
souls, entered upon the thorny path that in all probability would 
lead to a martyr's grave. On the 19th of June, 1625, he 
reached Quebec, and in the following spring, accompanied by 
Fathers Brebeuf and De la Noue, he left Quebec with the flotilla, 
whose canoes were lieaded for the Huron hunting grounds in 
northern forests. When he received LeCaron's letter, he was at 
Carragouha, on the western coast of the Huron peninsula, where 
he opened the mission of St. Gabriel. In obedience to the re- 
quest of his Superior, accompanied by two French traders, 
Grenalle and LeVallee, he left Huronia. October iS, 1626, and 
on the noon of the sixth day entered a village of the Neutrals. 
'' All were astonished," he writes, '* to see me dressed as I was, 
and to learn that I desired nothing of theirs, but only invited them 
by signs to lift their eyes to heaven, make the sign of the cross 
and receive the faith of Jesus Christ." Meeting with a hospitable 
welcome he advised Grenalle and LeVallee to return to Huronia, 
and after escorting them some distance on their way, he retraced 
his steps to the Indian town. Gilmary Shea, in an article which 
he wrote for the ** Narrative and Critical History of America," is 
of the opinion that he crossed the Niagara River and visited the 
villages on its eastern side. Daillon states in his valuable letter 
that a deputation of ten men of the eastern branch of the Neu- 
trals, known as Ongiaharas or Kah-Kwahs, waited upon him bear- 


ing a request to visit their village, Onaroronon, a day's march 
or about thirty miles from the land of the Iroquois, and that he 
promised to do so when spring opened. Notwithstanding the 
deservedly great authority of Gilmary Shea, I am of the opinion 
that Daillon never crossed the Niagara River. Aside from this 
promise, which he was not in a position to fulfill, there is no 
hint in his letter to lead us to believe that he visited the eastern 
villages. The priest spoke to the Neutrals of the advantage of 
trading with the French, and suggested that he himself would 
accompany them if a guide could be furnished, to the trading- 
post on the river of the Iroquois. Differing from the majority 
who have touched on this subject, I am satisfied that the place of 
trade was on Lake St. Peter, fifty miles below Montreal. It was 
called Cape Victory or Cape Massacre, in memory of the hun- 
dred Iroquois, who, in 1610, were killed by Champlain and his 
Algonquin allies. On the Island of St. Ignace, directly opposite 
the mouth of the Richelieu, was the "Place of Trade" referred 
to by Sagard in 1636. Champlain says that the Iroquois held 
possession of the St. Lawrence and closed it against other tribes, 
and it was for this reason that the Hurons always went by the 
Ottawa, when leaving on their trading excursions with the 
French. The Hurons hearing that Daillon was likely to prevail 
upon the Neutrals to deal directly with the French, and fearing 
they would lose the profits that accrued to them by exchanging 
French goods at high rates for the valuable furs of the Neutrals, 
became seriously alarmed. They hastily despatched runners into 
the Neutral country, whose extraordinary reports almost para- 
lyzed the people with fear. The Neutrals with horror learned 
that the priest was a great sorcerer, that by his incantations the 
very air in Huronia was poisoned ; and that the people withered 
away and rotted into their graves ; and if they allowed him to 
remain among them, their villages would fall to ruin and their 
children sicken and die. The Neutrals took alarm, treated the 
priest with withering contempt, refused to listen to him, and 
intimated that unless he left the country, they would be com- 
pelled for their own safety'to kill hfm. The priest deemed it 
prudent to return to Tonchain, in Huronia, from which place, 
on the 1 8th of July, 1627, he dates his most interesting letter. 


In his report of the mission, he speaks of the climate with appre- 
ciation, notes the incredible number of deer, moose, beaver, wild 
cats and squirrels that filled the forest ; ''the rivers," he adds, 
" furnish excellent fish and the earth gives more grain than is 
needed. They have squashes, beans and other vegetables in 
abundance and very good oil. Their real business is hunting and 
war. Their life, like that of the Hurons, is very impure, and 
their manners and customs quite the same." 

The priest was probably the first white man who ever entered 
the Niagara Peninsula, for the traders and coureurs-de-bois had 
not yet ascended the Ottawa River. Etienne Brule, the daunt- 
less woodsman and interpreter to Champlain, when he left 
Huronia with twelve Wyandots on an embassy to the allied Eries, 
crossed Lake Ontario to the east of the Senecas, but there is no 
record to show that he ever entered the Neutral country. Four- 
teen years after Daillon's return, the Jesuit Fathers of the 
Georgian Bay region, who had established permanent missions 
among the Hurons, began to cast wistful glances on the neigh- 
boring nations, and to open missions among the Petuns or 
Tobacco Indians, the Ottawas and the Nipissings. Fathers 
Brebeuf and Chaumonot were selected for the mission to the 

Jean de Brebeuf was the descendant of a noble French family, 
who abandoned the honors and pleasures of the world for the 
hardships and perils of missionary life. He arrived at Quebec 
in 1625, passed the autumn and winter with a roving band of 
Montagnais Indians, enduring for five months the hardships of 
their wandering life, and all the penalties of filth, vermin and 
smoke, abominations inseparable from a savage camp. In July, 
1626, he embarked with a band of swarthy companions, who 
were returning from Quebec to Georgian Bay, after bartering to 
advantage canoe loads of furs and peltries. Brebeuf was a man 
of splendid physique, of broad frame and commanding mien, 
and endowed with a giant's strength and a tireless endurance. 
Bravery was hereditary in his family, and it is sjiid that he never 
knew what the sensation of fear was. He was a ntan of extra- 
ordinary piety, kindly sympathies and an asceticism of character 
that to the -'natural man," mentioned by St. Paul, is a foolish- 


ness beyond his understanding. He wrote a treatise on the 
Huron language, which was published in Champlain's edition of 
1632, and republished in the " Transactions of the American 
Antiquarian Society," as a most precious contribution to learning. 
His companion, Joseph Marie Chaumonot, or as he is styled 
in the archives of his order, Josephus Maria Calmonotius, was 
his very antithesis. He was born on March 9, 161 1, and in the 
fall of 1639 reached the Huron country. He was timid even to 
fear, his nature was impressionable, and while in his studies he 
scored some success in literature, he failed as a theologian. 
^^ Prof ectus in Uteris et theol. parvus^ ^ is written after his name 
in the archives of his order. He was credulous almost to 
superstition, and shrank from his loathsome surroundings, as 
from the approach of a dangerous reptile ; yet under the 
mysterious influence of Divine Grace, and by an indomitable 
and unsuspected force of will he conquered human infirmity, and 
became one of the most conspicuous figures and admirable 
characters of the early church of Canada. He had a prodigious 
memory and thoroughly mastered every dialectical and idiomatic 
alteration of the Huron language and its linguistic affinities. He 
drew up a grammar and dictionary which continued for years to 
be an authority, not only for the Huron language, but for all the 
kindred Iroquois tongues. His grammar was published twenty- 
five years ago in the " Collections of the Quebec Literary and 
Historical Society," and is one of the most important of the 
linguistic treasures which American ethnology owes to the early 
missionaries. On November 2, 1640, the two priests left the 
Huron village of St. Joseph to bear the message of the gospel 
anew to the great nation of the Attiwandaron. ^ The task they 
had set themselves was one fraught with serious difficulties, for 
the ))ath lay through a country reposing in the desolation of 
solitude, and its end might be a grave. Winding through the 
primeval forest, the trail crossed streams, though which 'they 
waded knee-deep. Wind-swept and uprooted trees lay every- 
where around them, and wheii night with its eternal silence 
shrouded the forest they sought a fe\t* hours of rest under tlie 
shadow of some friendly pine. After a journey of five days the 
travelers on the 7th of November entered the Neutral village 

THE FLIjVT workers. 237 

Kandoucho. To this bourg they gave the name of All Saints, 
placed the whole country under the protection of the angels, and 
referred to it afterwards as the Mission of the Holy Angels. To 
their surprise they learned that an evil reputation had already 
preceded them, and no hospitable welcome awaited them. The 
Hurons, fearing their influence would divert the trade and 
custom of the Neutrals from themselves to the French, resolved 
that at all hazards this great misfortune must be averted. 
Messengers bearing gifts of hatchets and wampum belts went 
from village to village proclaiming that they were commissioned 
by their cousins and kinsmen of Huronia to inform the Neutrals 
that if they allowed the pale-faced sorcerers to dwell among them, 
famine and plague would desolate their villages, their women 
would be struck with sterility and the nation itself fade from off 
the face of the earth. 

Brebeuf, who was known by his Indian name of ''Echon," 

was looked upon with hori^or, as a dangerous sorcerer, whose 

incantations were dreadful in their effects. A thousand nameless 

fear^ took possession of the Indians, they avoided the men of God 

as they would poisonous reptiles, and retired from their approach 

as from that of a ravenous beast. Their very footsteps were 

shunned, the paths upon which they walked were infected, and 

streams from which they drank were poisoned. No one dared 

to touch a single object belonging to them, and the gifts which 

they offered were rejected with horror. In fact the specters of 

fear and consternation were everywhere, and in the presence of 

i this universal terror, the chiefs summoned a council to determine 

,; the fate of the priests. Three times the Fathers were doomed 

i to death, and three times the uplifted tomahawk was lowered by 

I the force of arguments advanced by some of the elders. The 

I missionaries visited eighteen towns, crossed the Niagara River 

; near Black Rock Ferry, and went as far as Onguiara, a village on 

the eastern limits of the Neutral possessions. In the forty 

? towns of the nation, they estimated a population of twelve 

1 thousand, but claimed that three years before their visit, there 

^vere twenty-five thousand souls in the country. This extraor- 

' dinary reduction in their numbers was occasioned by repeated 

wars, but principally by a pestilence which had ravaged the 


country. Along the winding paths through the forest, that 
interlaced and crossed and crossed again, the Fathers went from 
town to town, suffering from cold and hunger, and bearing a 
charmed life. But the black-robed sorcerers, with their instru- 
ments of necromancy, their crucifixes, crosses and rosary ; their 
ink-horns and strange hieroglyphics, the complete outfit of the 
black art, were held in horror and detestation. Despairing of 
accomplishing any good for the tribe, or of overcoming their 
inveterate prejudices, the Fathers resolved to bid them good- 
bye, and retrace the path to the Huron villages. In the second 
week of February, 1641, they began their homeward journey. 
They crossed the Niagara River at Lewiston, and reaching its 
western banks, disappeared in the shrouding forest. On their 
return journey they were snowbound at a town which they 
christened St. William, when outward bound. Here Chaumonot 
traced his rough map of the Neutral country, and Brebeuf added 
to the Huron dictionary many idiomatic words of the Neutral 

On the 19th of March, 1641, the feast of St. Joseph, patron 
of the Huron missions, Brebeuf and Chaumonot, after an absence 
of almost five months, reached the village of St. Mary on the 
Wye. Among the eighteen villages visited only one, that of 
Khioetoa, called by the Fathers, St. Michael, extended to them a 
partially friendly greeting. Chaumonot, at the request of 
Father Lalemant, now wrote his report of their visit to the 
Neutrals, which is to be found in the Relations of the Jesuits, 
1641. This remarkable and interesting letter practically fur- 
nishes all the information bearing on this mysterious tribe. As 
the Neutrals werQ of the parent stock of the Huron-Iroquois, 
their government, criminal code, marriages and religious con- 
ception were alike. Their dances and feasts, methods of carrying 
on war, their treatment of prisoners, cultivation of the soil, the 
division of labor between men and women, their love for gam- 
bling and manner of trapping and hunting, were also similar to 
those of the Iroquois and Hurpns, with which we are all now so 
familiar. The missionaries draw *^oarticular attention to their 
treatment of the dead which they kept in their lodges, till the 
odor of decaying flesh became insupportable. They then re- 


moved them to elevated scaffolds, and after the flesh had been 
devoured by carrion birds or rotted away, they piously collected 
the bones and retained them in their houses, till the great com- 
munal feast of the dead, or tribal burial. "Their reason," 
writes Father Chaumonot, " for preserving the bones in their 
cabins, is to continually remind them of the dead, at least they 
so state." This tribe carried to an insane excess, the Indian ■ 
idea, that madness was the result of some superhuman or mys- 
terious power, acting on the individual, and that any interfer- 
ence with the freedom or license of a fool would be visited with 
the wrath of his guardian spirit or oki. Pretended maniacs 
were found in every village, who, anxious to acquire the mystic 
virtue attributed to madness, abandoned themselves to idiotic 
folly. "On one occasion," writes the Father, "three pre- 
tended maniacs, as naked as one's hand, entered the lodge 
where we were, and after performing a series of foolish antics, 
disappeared. On another occasion some of them rushed in, and 
seating themselves beside us, began to examine our bags, and 
after having taken away some of our property they retired, still 
conducting themselves as fools." In summer the men went 
stark naked, figures tatooed with burnt charcoal on their bodies 
from head to foot, serving for the conventional civilized gar- 
ments. The genealogy of the English nobleman is shown in 
"Burke's Peerage," but the Neutral warrior improved on this, 
by tracing his descent in fixed pigments on his naked body. 

It is hardly necessary in this paper to state why the Neutrals 
were so called by the French, but it will be interesting to 
inquire, how for ages they were able to hold aloof from the 
interminable wars that from remote times were waged between 
the Hurons and Iroquois? There is no other instance in abor- 
iginal history where a tribe occupying middle or neutral lands 
was not sooner or later compelled to take sides with one or the 
other of the nations lying on its opposite frontiers, if these 
nations were engaged in never-ending strife. There is but one 
solution of this problem, and that is to be foimd, in the immense 
quantities of flint along the east end of Lake Eri^. Without 
flint arrow and spear heads the Iroquois could not cope with the 
Hurons, nor the Hurons with the Iroquois ; and as the Neutrals 


controlled the chert beds, neither nation could afford to make 
the Neutrals its enemy. The Neutral tribe had easy access to an 
unlimited supply of material for spear arrow heads and scalping 
knives. Extensive beds of flakings and immense quantities of 
flint were found along the Erie shore, near Point Abino, where 
the chert-bearing rock is most abundant. Even today, after the 
beds have been worked for centuries, many of the nodules 
picked up are large enough to furnish material for twenty or 
thirty spear heads or arrow tips. For miles along the beach, 
heaps offtakes may be seen, and flint relics are found in all parts 
of Ontario and Central and Western New York, corresponding 
in appearance with the Lake Erie material. 

The Iroquois were too shrewd and the Hurons too far-seeing 
to make an enemy of a people who manufactured the material of 
war, and controlled the source of supply. To those who take a 
deep interest in all that concerns primitive life in America, the 
excellence of the workmanship manifested in the flint instru- 
ments found on the Niagara Peninsula and in the neighborliood 
of Chatham and Amherstburgh, must convince them that the 
Neutral excelled all other tribes in splitting, polishing and fitting 
flakes of chert-bearing rock. 

Independent of its general value as an ethnological factor on 
the study of the Indian progress to civilization, it is also a con- 
clusive proof that among savage peoples, that which tl^.c) 
possess, and is eagerly sought after by others, is cultivated or 
manufactured with considerable skill. Primitive methods of 
manipulating raw material, and of handling tools, must ever 
prove attractive to the student of ethnology, for in these 
methods we observe the dawn of ideas, which are actualized in 
their daily lives. The Neutrals when discovered by Fatlxr 
Daillon, in 1626, were like the Britons when conquered by 
CcEsar, many degrees advanced beyond a low degree of sava^^ery. 
Chaumonot states, that the Neutrals were physically tHe fiiu-^t 
body of men that he had anywhere seen, but that in cruelty t>> 
their prisoners, and in licentiousness, they surpassed any tribe 
known to the Jesuits. It would appear that as a rule there wa.'. a 
communal understanding among the Indians of North Americ.i, 
that among the prisoners who were taken and tortured to dc.itl^ 


women were not to be subjected to the agony of fire. At times 
this compact was broken by the Iroquois and the Illinois, but 
the Neutrals were, it would seem, the only tribe that habitually 
violated this understanding, for they subjected their female 
prisoners to the atrocious torture of fire, and with a fiendish 
delight revelled in their cries of agony. I have already stated 
on the authority of Chaumonot, that the tribe was given over 
to licentiousness, and I may add that in point of cruelty and 
superstition, it was not surpassed by any native American people 
of whom we have any record. 

Had it been in the nature of the Attiwandarons to live a 
reasonably clean life, they might have become the most powerful 
branch of the great Huron-Iroquois family. Long immunity 
from attacks from without, the richness and fertility of their 
soil, and the abundance of vegetable and animal food, permitted 
them to devote their leisure to the enjoyment of every animal 
luxury their savage nature could indulge in ; and they suffered 
the consequences that follow from riotous living the world over. 
Gibbon, in his '* Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,'* 
states that the descendants of the all-conquering Romans became 
wasted by dissipation, and that when the Scandinavian hordes 
poured from their northern forests into the plains of Italy, the 
effeminate Romans had but the strength of children to oppose 
them. The licentiousness of the Neutrals, their freedom from 
national and domestic cares, destroyed their warlike courage, 
and to all but their inferiors in number they were regarded as 
women. They quailed before the face of the Five Nations, and 
stood in awe of the Hurons, who refused them the right of way 
to the Ottawa, but as a bloody pastime they carried on cowardly 
and ferocious wars against the weak western Algonquin tribes. 
Father Ragueneau relates that in the summer of 1643 they threw 
2,000 of their warriors into the prairie of the Nation of Fire, 
and invested one of their fortified towns, which they stormed 
after a ten days' siege. The slaughter that followed was appall- 
ing. They burned seventy of the enemy at th& stake, torturing 
them in the meanwhile with a ferociousness satanic in its 
prolongation and ingenuity. They tore out the eyes and girdled 
the mouths of the old men and women over 60 years of age, 




and scorning their appeal for death, left them to drag out a 
woeful and pitiable existence. They carried off 800 captives, 
men, women and children, many of whom were distributed 
among the Neutral villages, and by a refinement of cruelty sur- 
passing belief, were subjected to atrocious mutilations and 
frightful burnings, prolonged from sunset to sunrise. There is a 
mysterious law of retribution, that in the accuracy of its ap{)li- 
cation, is reduced to a mathematical certainty. The Neutrals, 
who had filled up the measure of their iniquity, had by their 
ruthless cruelty and unbridled licentiousness, invoked their 
doom. From the distant forests of the Senecas, there came a 
prophetic warning, and its message was, the Iroquois are begin- 
ning to open a grave for the great Neutral nation, and the war 
cry of the Senecas will be the requiem for their dead. After the 
Mohawks and Senecas, the war-hawks of the wilderness, had 
scattered and destroyed their enemies, the Hurons, they sought 
excuses to issue a declaration of war against the Attiwandaruns. 
Father Lafiteau states on the authority of the Jesuit Gamier. 
that when the Iroquois had destroyed their enemies, and were in 
danger of losing from want of practice, their warhke dexterit\- 
and skill, Shonnonkeritoin, an Onondaga, proposed to the war 
chief of the Neutrals that their young men should meet in 
occasional combats in order to keep alive among them a warlike 
spirit. The Neutral, after repeated refusals, at last with \w\\c\\ 
hesitation reluctantly consented. In a skirmish that took place 
soon after the agreement, a nephew of the Iroquois chief was 
captured and burned at the stake. The Onondagas, to aven^^o 
his death, attacked the Neutrals, and the Mohawks and Senec.Ls 
marched to the assistance of their countrymen. Father Bressani 
says that the friendly reception and hospitality extended \o a 
fugitive band of Hurons, after the ruin and dispersion oi that 
unhappy people, excited the wrath of the Iroquois, who for 
some time were patiently awaiting a pretext to declare war. 
. I have somewhere seen it stated that the emphatic refusal 01 
the Neutrals to surrender a Huron girl, who escaped from tiic 
Senecas, was the cause of the war,* but whatever ;may have \<c\\ 
the reasons, it is certain from the Relations of the Jesuits, 
in 1650, the war between the Iroquois and the Neutrals bc^MU, 


and was carried on with a ruthlessness and savagery, from the 
very perusal of which we recoil with horror. In this year the 
Iroquois attacked a frontier village of the enemy within whose 
palisaded walls were i,6oo warriors. After a short siege, the 
attacking party carried the fortified town,. and made it a slaughter- 
house. The ensuing spring they followed up their victory, 
stormed another town, and after butchering the old men and 
children, carried off a number of prisoners, among them all the 
young women, who were portioned out as wives among the 
Iroquois towns. The Neutral warriors, in retaliation, captured a 
frontier village of the enemy, killed and scalped 200, and 
wreaked their vengeance on fifty captives, whom they burned at 
the stake. When the Iroquois heard of the death of their 
braves, they met to the number of 1,500, crossed the Niagara 
River, and in rapid succession, entered village after village, 
tomahawked large numbers of the inhabitants, and returned to 
their own country, dragging with them troops of prisoners, 
reserved for adoption or fire. 

This campaign led to the ruin of the Neutral nation. The 
inland and remote towns were struck with panic, people mad 
with the instinct of self-preservation fled from their forests and 
hunting grounds, preferring the horrors of retreat and exile to 
the rage and cruelty of their ruthless conquerors. The unfor- 
tunate fugitives were devoured with famine, and scattered in bands 
wandered through the forests, through marshes and along banks 
of distant streams, in search of anything that would stay the de- 
! vouring pangs of hunger. From the mouth of the French River 
'! to the junction of the Ottawa, and from the fringe of the Geor- 
i gian Bay to the Genesee the land was a vast graveyard, a forest 
; of horror and desolation, over which there hovered the specter of 
j death, and on which there brooded the silence of a starless night. 
- In April, 1652, it was reported at Quebec that a remnant of this 
tribe had joined forces with the Andastes and made an attack 
I upon the Senecas. The Mohawks had rushed to the help of their 
i countrymen, but the issue of the war was unknown. In July, 
^•^53. word was brought to the same city that severa^ Algonquin 
tribes, with eight hundred Neutrals and the remnant of the 
Tobacco Nation, were assembled in council near Mackinac. 



They are mentioned for the last time as a separate people in tlie 
"Journal of the Jesuits," July, 1653. Henceforth the nation 
loses its tribal identity, and merging into the Hurons is known 
on the pages of history as the Wyandots. Father Fremin, in a 
letter embodied in. the Jesuit Relations of 1670, states that on 
the 27th of September, 1669, he visited the village of Gan- 
dougarae,^ peopled with the fragments of three nations con- 
quered by the Iroquois. These were members of the Onnon- 
tiogas, Neutral and Huron nations. The first two, he adds, 
scarcely ever saw a white man, and never had the gospel 
preached to them. These were the sons of the slaughtered Neu- 
trals, who were adopted by the Senecas and incorporated into 
the tribe to fill the places of those they lost in their ruthless 
forays. This is the last time that the Neutrals are ever men- 
tioned in the annals of New^ France. 

*Gandougarae was four miles southeast of Victor station, in Ontario County, N. Y. 
It is also spelled " Gannagaroe " and " Gannongarae." See Beauchamp's "Indian 
Names in New York." — Ed. 




With Inxidental Notices of the Late 
RoswELL W. Haskins.-^ 



The Asiatic cholera had raged in various countries of Asia for 
some years previous to 1832, and in many places with great 
fatality. The disease gradually progressed westward into Cen- 
tral Europe, spreading to more or less extent in all its divisions 
until it reached the Atlantic Ocean, and leaping across the chan- 
nel dominated irregularly throughout considerable portions of 
the British Islands. In May or June, 1S32, some English emi- 
grant ships brought the disease to Quebec, in Lower Canada, 
where it soon spread and raged with great violence during some 
\ months. Within a short time after reaching Quebec, it crept up 
I the St. Lawrence to Montreal, to Kingston and Toronto, in all 
I of which places it spread with destructive fatality, and late in the 
j month of June, or early in July, following Lake Ontario up to 

1 *Died January 15, 1S70. Mr. Allen once wrote of him in a newspaper sketch: "Mr. 

Haskins was an oriq:inal in many traits of his character, like some other of the earlier 
residents of our village, and afterwards city, and one of the latest livinof of a class of 
men who early made their m.irk on the features of its progress and moulded its civil 
and social institutions into their well tried stability and usefuluess. His early labors 
for its prosperity and greatness should be perpetuated" in the menft^ries of his sur- 
vivors." An appreciative notice of Mr. Haskins, read at one of the club meetings 
of the BuiTalo Historical Society, a short time after his death, by his friend Mr. L. G. 
Sellstedt, follows in this volume. — Ed, 




the Welland Canal by the vessels then coasting those waters (as the 
outlet of that canal was then into the Chippewa Creek) into 
Niagara River, and soon after appeared in Buffalo. The whole 
country was alarmed, and precautionary measures, so far as the 
larger city authorities of our country knew or could ascertain 
what such measures should be, were adopted to ward off its 
approach and guard against its ravages. Among these com- 
munities the little city of Buffalo, with its seven or eight thou- 
sand people, through its civil authorities, did what, with its 
limited means, it could to prepare for its approach. 

But the cholera was here, and broke out in several fatal cases 
before its approach was expected, or even anticipated. A sud- 
den meeting of the Common Council was called, decisive move- 
ments taken, and a Board of Health established for prompt and 
vigorous action. The City Council appointed Roswell W. Ras- 
kins, Dyre Tillinghast and Lewis F. Allen, a Board of Health, 
over whom presided ex officio, Doctor Ebenezer Johnson, then 
Mayor, and the first Mayor of the city — a magistrate to whose 
energy, faithful discharge of official duty, promptitude in action, 
and executive ability in times of emergency or exigency like that 
then upon it, Buffalo will never know a superior. These four 
men, then in the prime of life, of sound health and physical 
activity fully equal to the highest average, constituted the Board 
of Health, and took upon themselves the fearful responsibilities 
of exercising an almost plenary power conferred by the Council 
to do whatever they should see fit. Loring Pierce* was the chief 
undertaker of the city, a capital nurse of the sick when needed in 
such capacity, sexton of St. Paul's Church, crier to the courts, a 
faithful, prompt executor of all orders in his line with which he 
might be charged, and ever ready for service. As a general 
assistant and undertaker he was employed by the Board, and 
when not otherwise engaged, was usually present at its daily 
meetings to bring in reports and receive orders. He was'useful — 
indispensable, in fact. Last, but, perhaps, the most important 
adjunct to the labors of the -commission, was the Health Phy>i- 
cian and medical adviser," Dr. Johnr E. Marshall, of the firm of 
Trowbridge & Marshall, both able and accomplished in their 

*Said to have been pronounced " Purse."— Ed. 


profession, whose characters equally for integrity, uprightness 
and advisory counsel, as well as medical skill, were not only 
unquestioned, but held in the highest repute. 

The cholera began its work fearfully and rapidly. One after 
another was stricken down, mostly among the more destitute, 
heedless and imprudent, but occasionally the disease burst into 
the dwellings of the careful and more circumspect, and carried 
off its victims with awful suddenness. The coffin makers and 
grave diggers were constantly at work; many people hurriedly 
packed their trunks and left the city, while others stood appalled, 
knowing not whether to go or stay. Every morning the Board 
of Health met at their little one-story wooden office on Main 
Street, received reports of the resident physicians, and made up 
their orders for the day. The entire Board were at work by day 
or by night, as exigency called. Steamboats were stopped on 
their entrances to the harbor until their passengers and crews had 
passed medical inspection ; stage coaches (we had no railroads 
then) were stopped outside the city ; canal boats were met below 
Black Rock as they were coming to their destination, and 
country people kept at a safe distance outside by their own fears 
of contagion. Everybody but the reckless ones lived on half 
rations of food, so far as vegetables and fruits were concerned, 
and the most abstemious of all diluted their water with a 
modicum of what, by courtesy, was called '•' French brandy" ; 
while the tipplers (and they were more than enough), held a 
prolonged saturnalia of bibulous indulgence. A hospital was 
improvised, the first one being " The McHose House," which 
was pulled down a few years ago. It stood in a hollow about 
midway between Niagara and Ninth Street, now Prospect 
Avenue, built by McHose at an early day for a tavern, in 
j expectation that the Erie Canal would pass it to avoid the 
projected Black Rock Harbor — a terrible dread in that early day 
of its erection, io all loyal Buffalonians ! The house was 
unoccupied at the time. The Board of Health took possession 
of it, put in a few bedsteads, beds, tables, diairs, and cooking 
utensils. Pierce took partial charge, so" far as moving the 
destitute cholera patients into it, and supervising its arrangement. 
But corpses were almost daily carried out, and but a few days 




after its opening, the chief nurse and factotum died, and was 
carried to his grave. 

That was a calamity, and the Board were appalled. What 
was to be done ? After casting about for one to refill the place, 
Mr. Pierce found a stout, good-looking, healthy Irish girl of five 
and twenty years, or thereabouts, who offered her services, and 
brought her to the meeting of the Board. She looked cheerful, 
spoke hopefully, and appeared the very embodiment of health 
and good spirits. When asked if she had no fears of disease she 
answered in the negative, and went energetically and faithfully 
to work. Within the space of four days afterwards, that cheer- 
ful, kind, devoted girl was carried out of the hospital to her 
grave ! There were sad hearts in the Board of Health that 
day. Pierce laid her shrouded body tenderly in her cofhn, and 
gave her a hurried, yet respectful burial in the High-street field 
of graves. All that the Board of Health knew of her history or 
name, was ''Bridget" ! 

On raged the cholera. There were "dens" across Buffalo 
Creek, where large elevators and coal shutes now stand, and they 
yielded up their victims ; and on the "flats," up stream and 
down among the warehouses, and along the canal and its borders. 
Death erratically appeared. The disease darted like forked 
lightning at right angles, at obtuse angles, at oblique angles, up 
one street, down another alley, and into any and almost every 
quarter of the little city. The weather was hot; showers made 
the ground smoke with moisture, for there were not then eighty 
rods of sidewalk, nor a rood of paved street in the entire corpor- 
ation. Dr. Johnson was busy with his official duties in the 
Council, and at the morning meetings of the Board. Haskins, 
Tillinghast, and Allen were busy at all calls, with little leisure for 
their own affairs : Dr. Marshall always engaged in his indisj-ens- 
able labors, and Pierce at his daily work of taking patients to rlie 
ijospital, restoring the convalescent to their humble homes, or 
more frequently taking the dead, mostly by night (not unneces- 
sarily to frighten the i)eople) to their graves. 

A single instance may"be related: The day had been serene 
and cloudle^5S ; the Board had done their daily round of dutv 
and repaired to their several homes. Mr. Allen's house was on 


Main Street, between' Chippewa and Tupper Streets. Tired and 
fatigued, he had retired to his bed. Soon a fearful thunder 
storm arose, rattling and lightening all over the sky, and the 
rain poured. He was the only human being in the dwelling, 
his little family having left the town early in the season. He 
could not sleep, and lay restless. About midnight a gentle tap 
was heard at the window near his bed, for he slept on the ground 
floor. Rising to know what the intrusion at that untimely hour 
could be, and raising the window, there stood — Loring Pierce ! 

'• What's the matter now, Pierce — anything new or alarming?" 

" Oh no ! " replied the imperturbable undertaker, ** only I've 
got six coffins in my wagon going up to the graveyard to bury 
them, and not knowing but you would like to take a look at them 
and see that all was right, thought I'd call and ask you." 

''And is that all," asked the astonished Allen, "and in 
such a hurly-burly of thunder, lightning and rain — worse than 
that of the witches in 'Macbeth' — you call me out of bed to see 
six coffins on their way to burial ? You surely are not alone in 
such a night as this? " 

" Oh, no ; I've got Black Tony with me — he's watching the 
wagon now, in the street — and I guess we two can get along 
with it — bury 'em, and get home before morning. Good-night, 
Mr. Allen." And on went Pierce and Tony with their patient 
horse and wagon-load of bodies through the pitiless rain to the 
graveyard. The next morning at the Board meeting, Pierce 
was at his daily duty, sedate as usual, as if he had slept soundly 
all night. Pierce was a hero, and the dark-featured Tony his 
trusty sergeant ! 

It was not the poor only who suffered. The up})er and 
brighter walks of life yielded also. Henry White, one of the 
distinguished lawyers of the city and county, after spending an 
afternoon at the Mansion House — then Landon's Hotel — in 
attending to some legal business with one who had come a 
distance to see him, went home in the evening, not feeling well, 
retired to bed, and before nine o'clock next morning was laid 
out a corpse. And he was but one of many whose*deaths were 
so appalling and sudden. 


Haskins, although loving mankind in the aggregate, hated 
some men, and among them, blacklegs and loafers in particular. 
A graceless vagabond, who had been for months prowling about 
the streets, playing ''sixpenny loo" with street boys, canal 
drivers, with any idle reprobate, in short, whom he could wheedle 
or cheat out of his pennies, to get his own night's lodging in an 
underground ''dive," or a contingent meal, was a stout, burly, 
able-bodied fellow, of perhaps thirty years, and abundantly able 
to labor for a living. He had been in the watchhouse, before 
the police, in jail, as a vagrant. The scamp was utterly worth- 
less for any good purpose whatever. Haskins had had no partial 
eye on him for months past. One of the physicians reported to 
the Board that this man (he had a name which every one knew, 
for he was a notorious nuisance, but what the name was is now 
forgotten) was taken sick, and must go to the hospital. Has- 
kins's eyes lighted. "I'll attend to his case at once," and out 
he started, taking Pierce and his horse and wagon along. They 
proceeded to a miserable rookery on "the flats," fronting Main 
Street, somewhere in the block where the Webster Buildings now 
stand. The man was in a loft reached by a ricketty flight of 
wooden stairs. At about half a dozen leaps, with Pierce at his 
heels, the top stair was reached, and through the shattered, half- 
hinged door which opened into it, both entered a room. There 
lay the poor creature utterly helpless, in the merciless gripe of 
the cholera. " Poor fellow," cried Haskins, his heart softening 
at the wretched spectacle, " bad as he is. Pierce, we must take 
care of him. Here, help get him on to my back." And with 
that he crouched over, Pierce put the sick man on to the shoulders 
of Haskins, who left the room, with Pierce's assistance — for 
Haskins was a strong, sturdy man — felt his way down the stairs 
carefully, and laid the poor creature tenderly on the straw in the 
wagon ! Pierce drove him to the hospital, and the next day he 
was Carried out — in a coffin ! Haskins hated him no -longer ; 
but he didn't wish him back again. 

The leading physicians in those days, aside from Drs. Trow- 
bridge and Marshall, were Dr. Cyr(?nius Chapin and his medical 
partner. Dr. Bryant Burwell, the late Dr. Bristol being at that 
time a druggist, and not in medical practice. Chapin was an 


able doctor, sixty years of age or upwards, an early resident 
here, of wide professional practice, blunt in speech, sometimes 
abrupt in manner, but with much kindness of heart, abounding 
in poor patients, to whom he scarce ever denied his services — 
as well as in patients who had the means to compensate his 
labors. But he was oftentimes dictatorial, sometimes obstinate, 
and had a sovereign contempt for the Board of Health as an 
official body, although on good personal terms with them as 
private individuals. He wouldn't make his daily reports of 
cholera cases to them, as required, and responded to by all the 
other physicians. '' Why should I report my medical cases to a 
set of ignoramuses who don't know the cholera from whooping 
cough? No: I'll see 'em hanged first." But Dr. Johnson, the 
Mayor, had made up his mind that Dr. Chapin should report, 
willy-nilly, and after a delightful joust of words,- altogether 
characteristic on the part of Chapin, the latter made up his 
mind that discretion was the better part of valor, and afterwards 
made his daily reports faithfully. Doctor Burwell, who was the 
widest possible contrast to Chapin in way and manner, although 
his business partner, had always made his reports punctually 
and well. 

As before mentioned, the vessels navigating the Welland 
Canal came into the Niagara at Chippewa on the Canada side, 
and coasting up stream, crossed at the foot of Squaw Island, 
entered the ship lock and reached the lake through Black Rock 
harbor, in all cases when a northerly wind was not strong enough 

I to take them, by their sails, up the rapids. Most of the Canada 
vessels during the summer had newly-arrived immigrants from 

I Europe on board. In that way the cholera had at first reached 

' Buffalo, and a sharp eye was afterward kept on every Canada 

1 vessel which ai)proached our shores. 

j One dark murky evening, word was sent up from the ship 

lock to the Board of Health, that several vessels from Ontario 

i had arrived near the foot of Squaw Island, and lay at anchor, 
intending to pass the lock next morning and go Jnto Lake Erie 
on their passage up to the Canadian border" beyond. * The Board 

\ instantly convened, and with their physician — Pierce was Ict't 

i out this time — took carriages, and went to Lower Black Rock. 


The people there had become alarmed at the presence of ilie 
three or four Canada schooners, for they had only come in 
singles or couples before, and the Board were promptly met on 
their arrival by Colonel W. A. Bird and his business partner, 
Judge McPherson, who had a large flouring mill and store there, 
and several other active inhabitants of the place. Two or three 
small boats were instantly provided, and the Board, with the 
gentlemen named and several others, supplied with enough stout 
oarsmen, took passage for the vessels. The night was pitchy 
dark, but the lights hung up on the vessels guided the boats to 
them readily. It was near midnight when the inspecting party 
reached them, and officers, crew and passengers, save a single 
watchman on the deck of each vessel, were soundly asleep in 
their berths. The captains were aroused as one after another ci' 
the vessels were boarded, and summoned to state the sanitary 
condition of their human cargo. They were indignant that any 
"foreigner" should interfere with their business; some of the 
passengers waked up, came on deck, and in no very decorous 
terms, bade the invading party be gone. But this was of little 
use,; the visitors were strong enough to protect themselves. The 
condition of the crew and passengers was ascertained to be 
free from disease, and the boats with their visitors on board 
returned to the wharf whence they started. On reachinu the 
shore the party went to the tavern near by, where some of theni 
restored their wasted strength by imbibing a trifle of the 
"medicine" so frequently taken to "ward off the effects ol" 
frequent exposure." On this occasion, Haskins, who never 
touched a drop of spirits, not even wine, cider, or beer — 
"would as soon drink aquafortis as either" — was pro!u>cly 
liberal in setting a decanter of brandy before the boatnun. 
telling them to " take all they wanted." 

" Why, Haskins," said Allen to him, " what does this mean? 
Your precept and example both are against all dram drinkini:. 
and here you are, giving the oi)portunity to let these men L:et 
drunk at their pleasure." - 

"Can't help that," replied Ha<;kins ; "if these chaps hadn't 
expected z. treat of this kind, we might have stayed ashore instead 
of getting to the vessels, and / am not the one to balk the:! 
appetites. Taking the liquur is ///<?/> affair, not mine." Ahhou.:''' 


a rigid abstinent, he would sooner get boozy himself than join a 
Temperance Society. He thought every one should be temperate 
on his own volition, and not lean on others to keep good his • 

The next day the vessels were permitted to pass the lock into 
the harbor, but without landing any persons, and go quietly on 
their voyage. No further alarm came from Canada vessels 
during the season. 

Two of our present eminent physicians, Gorham F. Pratt and 
James P. White^ were then medical students in Buffalo. Pratt 
was with Dr. Chapin — possibly had begun practice with him, as 
he \yas for some years afterwards a partner ; and White, some- 
what younger, in the office of Trowbridge & Marshall. These 
young men were active, intelligent, enterprising, and gave most 
valuable aid to the Board, as well as to their medical superiors in their 
laborious duties. Pratt stayed chiefly at home in Dr. Chapin's 
office to attend pressing calls there, while White was sent to 
guard the outpost at Lower Black Rock, where the canal boats 
from the East and the Canada vessels entered the harbor. Here 
his activity and vigilance greatly relieved the anxiety of the 
Board of Health, the physicians of the city, and the people at 
large. His reports of the condition of things were frequent, and 
his watch was only given up on the disappearance of further 

Many incidents, some melancholy, and some othewise, 
occurred during that distressing season. Many valuable lives 
Were cut off by the disease, and some that were of little use to 
society. The city authorities and the medical faculty, as well 
as the people, had the cholera and its treatment all to learn, and 
before the scourge had left the city, as it did when the frosts of 
•"^utumn came on, the disease had become measurably controlable, 
and its contagion somewhat arrested by timely precautions. So 
I)assed the first cholera year of Buffalo, thirty-seven years ago, 
and in the course of those years have passed away every member 
'>f that Board of Health and their associates-, save one, and he 
yet robust, but in the sere and yellow leaf "bf life.f • 

* Dr. Pratt died April 6, 1871 ; Dr. White Sept. 28, iSSi.— Ed. 

t Mr. Allen was 69 years of age when he thus alluded to himself. He died May 
'. «'^'>o, in his 91st year.— Ed. 


Less has been said of Tillinghast than of Haskins in this 
brief memoir, but he was quite as active and vigilant in the dis- 
charge of his duties as either of his associates. The Health 
Physician, Dr. Marshall, was untiring throughout in his labors, 
and his fidelity to his fearful trust, no doubt, saved lives that, 
with a less attentive care, would have been lost. Nor were the 
labors of the other physicians of the city less meritorious. The 
names of all of them may not have been mentioned in this 
recital, but they were Good Samaritans, and devotedly gave their 
services either with or without the expectation of reward, as 
chances might govern. All the reward the Board of Healtli 
received for their three months' labor and the neglect of their 
private business was the thanks of the Common Council, except 
that Tillinghast was paid $50 by them for keeping the records as 
clerk of the Board. Few men, we fancy, in these later days of 
plunder and extortion of the public would consent to be thus 
compensated. A remarkable fact may be mentioned, that so far 
as now recollected, no member of the Board of Health, nor any 
of their official associates or attendants, suffered a day from sick- 
ness, during the period of their labors. 

After an interregnum of the year 1833 in which, however, a 
few stray cases of cholera occurred, the disease again broke out 
in the year 1834 with all its previous virulence. A new Common 
Council and a new Board of Health were in action, with im- 
proved opportunities for managing the disease, but the fatality 
was proportionally as great as in 1832. ■ Yet the precautionary 
measures against attack were better understood, and those who 
were in health feared less to encounter the disease than before. 
Several active young men of the city turned out bravely as 
nurses to the sick, and did grateful service; and so did many 
reputable women. A marked exception of her sex who devoted 
herself to this brave work was one, not of the good and virtu- 
ous in society, but of whose labors at this distant time it would 
be unjust not to bear recognition. 

Lydia Harper was a faHen^ woman. Whether she became so 
by the wiles of seduction, or by htr own volition, was unknown 
to the people of Buffalo. She had lived in Rochester time ix^xst. 
as it was said, but her home for some few years had been in 



Buffalo. Her personal appearance was decent ; of middle size, 
well-formed, bright eyes, good complexion, modest in carriage 
and dress, as she passed the streets, healthy in look, with intelli- 
gent, expressive features, she would appear to the stranger a 
respectable woman. Her age was perhaps thirty. But she was 
not what she should have been, and her home was among the 
wayside localities of the abandoned of her sex. To the public, 
as she appeared among them, her conduct was correct, and to 
those only who consorted with her kind was her vocation famil- 
iar. Yet rumor told various acts of kindness and charity at her 
hands, and the name of Lydia Harper was not always accompan- 
ied with approbrium, or censure. She did not entice the young 
and unwary to her abode. She knew enough of the world to 
understand her own position, never sought to conceal it, nor did 
she thrust her presence in unwelcome places. So she passed, 
unobtrusive to society, and apparently content with the lot which 
her own fallen nature had chosen. 

When the cholera, in 1834, had broken out, and attendants 
on the sick were much needed, this woman offered her services 
as a nurse in places where they were appropriate, simply for such 
labors as she could render without regard to her social recogni- 
tion. She asked no pay. She was ready to work, she could 
work, and she did work, with a readiness, a facility, an aptitude 
of which many better women were incapable ; and she entered 
houses whose inmates were respectable, and where her efforts 
were gratefully appreciated. She could do everything required 
of a female nurse, prepare food and drinks, give medicines, 
bathe the sick, smooth their pillows, and minister all those gentle 
attentions so grateful to the stricken and afQicted, and with a 
decorum and fidelity admirable in their manner. And she did 
all these throughout the cholera season. Was not that woman a 
heroine — a true woman indeed — in all the virtues of a repentant 
Magdalen ? Let charity excuse her frailties, while gratitude 
applauds her kindly efforts to relieve the miseries of her race. 
It was no " putting on " of hers for the occasion, but a genuine 
philanthropy, innate in her being, which bfoke out at the cry 
of distress, ceasing only when the occasion for its action had 
passed. Lydia lived years afterwards in her vocation as before. 


and died some years since in this city. In what part of the 
common burying ground her remains were deposited no one 
perhaps now knows, for no tombstone tells the tale of her good 
deeds or records the story of her frailties. Let this simple 
narrative perpetuate the one, and oblivion blot out the other. 




The subject of the following sketch was a man of too marked 
a character to be other than prominent. His idiosyncracies and 
the circumstances under which he lived to a certain extent iso- 
ii:ed him ; and among his fellow-citizens he stood apart — an un- 
common work of the Divine Master — seen in different lights and 
shides, and judged by them according to their position, distance 
cr mental focus. His own opinion on all subjects he had made 
his study, were fixed, inflexible and sincere, and they were 
uttered with an uncompromising bluntness that knew no lubri- 
1 citing policy. Though it perhaps follows that a man who sought 
■ truth only for heV own sake, even though she often eluded him, 
j >h:t;ld in many things run counter to received errors, and by" his 

!]css, and if you will, imprudent condemnation of them, sub- 
let himself to censure — yet, so well were his honesty of purpose 
, ^--r..: generous impulses known that, whatever separation there was 
* between himself and what is commonly called society, the act of 
^ -tr.icism was his own. Other reasons for this estrangement will 
>••; ".-car as we proceed ; but, whatever the cause, it is certain that, 
v-iuring the latter years of his life, he shrunk with morbid sensi- 
« vet^.ess from contact with mixed company, especially of stran- 
>^r>. of either sex. He felt that he was misunderstood, and his 
-:ge. aside from his beloved family circle and a few otd friends, 
^^-v< the laboratory of the scientist, the artist's studio, the geolo- 
*.'> hammer, his books, his writings and his own thoughts. I 



shall try, as far as my powers of analysis go, to place in their 
natural light his motives, and to speak of him as he was, '*to 
nothing extenuate, nor set down aught in malice." 

Roswell Willson Haskins was born January 31, 1796, at Xew 
Salem, Mass. His father's Christian name was John, and that 
of his mother was Sarah. His father died when he was only four 
years old, leaving his mother in destitute circumstances with 
three children, of whom two were boys and one a girl. Of his 
ancestry, he says in a letter to one of his sons : " You want my 
ancestral tree ; well, I wish I had one for you, since I do not 
want it for myself. I have little desire in that direction beyond 
our Revolution, and that far I have got. Of my ancestry, I never 
have heard beyond my grandfather Haskins, who. my grand- 
mother told me, was killed in the Revolutionary War. Of his 
birth and history I know nothing beyond his death, which I 
glory in. My mother has told me that all her immediate rela- 
tives were patriots in that war, except one uncle, who was a Tory 
and left the country as such at the beginning of the war." His 
mother's family name was Willson, and he says of her in another 
letter to the same son : *' I have never known anything of my 
mother's parents. When I was 15 years of age, I saw two 
brothers of hers. They lived in New Hampshire. I have never 
seen either of them since ; but in 1836, when in Peterborough, 
my sister Clarissa told me that one of them was living some 
thirty miles distant, either sick or disabled and very poor. I 
told her I would give her $100 for him if she could get it to 
him. She said she would carry it to him, and she subsequently 
wrote nie she did carry it to him and that he was grateful 
for the relief, as she found him in very destitute circumstances. 
This is the last I know of them." 

At the age of 10 years he lived with a doctor whose wood he 
chopped and whose horse he cared for, sleeping on the floor witli 
his clothes on, and with scanty covering, being frequently allied 
in the night to harness the horse, and beaten without knowing 
Avhat it was for ; and though living where there was plenty, he 
often suffered so much from hunger that the neighbors gave him 
food for charity. Being at last discharged on account of dull 
times, he walked from this place to his mother (who then lived 


at Brattleboro, Vermont,) in the dead of winter, most of the two 
days' travel over an unbroken road, and this, too, during a 
furious New England storm, when the tops of the fences were 
covered with snow. A touching incident occurred at the end of 
his first day's journey. Weary, cold and hungry, he asked per- 
mission of a farmer's wife to warm himself and rest over night at 
her house. The good woman, with a mother's tenderness, led 
him to the fire and helped him off with his frozen shoes, nearly 
filled with snow, upon which his heels had rested. On being 
remonstrated with by her rather rough husband for the fuss she 
made over the "'brat," and ironically advised to take him to 
her bed to warm him, she silenced him by these words: "I 

would be very much obliged if his mother was to treat my 

in the same way," pointing to her own child, whose name Has- 
kins did nOt hear or remember. He was well cared for, and in 
the morning urged to remain till the storm was over and the 
roads broken ; but he went on, and reached home the next even- 
ing. He was now 14 years of age. Notwithstanding the hard- 
ships of his childhood, his spirits seem not to have been so much 
subdued as to prevent him from enjoying the ordinary plays and 
pranks of boyhood, as numerous anecdotes related to his chil- 
dren, testify. 

The time allotted for reading these sketches is too short to 
make it proper to enlarge upon the acts of Mr. Haskins's child- 
hood ; but one or two of his pranks are too characteristic to pass 
without mention. I can only give the outlines, the fiUed-out 
sketches being in his own hand-writing and directed to his son, 
C. C. Haskins, who seems to have taken more interest in his 
father's antecedents than any of the rest of the family, and to 
whom I am indebted for most of the facts related. When the 
news of Fulton's steamboat first reached him, his thoughts were 
naturally ted to the power of steam, and he at once set about to 
experiment for himself. Procuring the tip of an old umbrella 
he filled it with water, and having plugged the open end, he put 
the machine into the stove, lying down on the floor to watch the 
result, expecting to see it move. He did not have to tvait long, 
for in due time it went off, the tip barely missing his head and 
burying itself in the baseboard of the room. He also succeeded 


in frightening the good people of Brattleboro one evening by 
sending up a huge kite with a lantern containing a lighted candle 
and some powder. As the night was very dark, nothing was 
seen but the light, which, in those days was deemed portentous. 
It brought out the whole population, and while they were won- 
dering what it might mean, the flame reached the powder and a 
loud explosion ended the phenomenon. The real nature of the 
prodigy was not known till 1866, when a detailed and humorous 
account of it was written by Mr. Haskins and published in the 
. Vermont Fh<£mx, Brattleboro. 

At the age of 16, almost the only being who had been uni- 
formly kind to him, died. This was his brother. His mother's 
disposition was far from amiable, his home was not a happy one, 
and his brother was, perhaps, the only one to whom his young 
heart was strongly attached. This event produced a strong and 
lasting impression upon his mind during his whole life; indeed, 
so strong was it that the recollection of it quite unmanned him 
even after he was advanced in years. 

He had been apprenticed to a bookbinder in Brattleboro, but 
he now notified his master that he was about to leave him, as he 
was no longer learning anything of his trade. This coup d' etat 
was moreover accompanied by the assurance that if his master 
followed him he would get badly whipped. Doubtless this threat 
had the desired effect, for he was left in peaceful possession of 
the road before him. The then El Dorado to which all wlio 
could not or would not brave the inhospitable regions of New- 
England, or whose partrimony did not attach them to her soil, 
was the grand, mysterious and almost fabulous *' West." 
Thitherward he bent his course without, to use his own words, 
** knowing any more than we now know where that ' West ' be- 
gan or ended, in the vague hope of finding a home or resting- 
-place somewhere within its bounds." A single rustic suit and 
some minor articles of clothing constituted his whole wandrobe, 
while his purse was, if possible, even more scanty in its stores. 
Though he well knew that alh future supplies must be earned by 
head and hands, he seems to have felt no uneasiness for fear of 
want, but with a light heart and relying confidence, he bade 
adieu to his weeping mother and saddened circle of relatives. 



He left Brattleboro by stage, through Bennington and Troy for 
Albany. When he arrived the street lamps were lighted, and 
though they only burnt oil, being the first street-lamps he had 
seen, they left a deep impression on his memory. There he also 
first saw a steamboat, and as he has left a description of the 
event, I shall again quote his own words: 

The northern army of reserve — for we were then at war with England — 
was stationed at Greenbush, opposite Albany, that being the strategic point of 
departure for either the northern or western frontier of the State. The town 
was full of officers and soldiers; and the next morning, about lo a. m., word 
came to the house that the steamboat from New York was in sight. She was 
due the night before, but had been kept back by the storms. On this there 
was a great rush to the boat for news. I alone went for a different purpose. I 
had never seen a steamboat which, since its invention five years before, I had 
regarded as a kind of miracle. When the boat reached her dock, the deck 
was promptly crowded. I went on board with the rest, and was absorbed in 
observation of her machinery, when, the hands having made her fast to the 
dock, the engineer opened the safety valve to let off the remaining steam. I 
was near the escape pipe, and the sudden roar sent me on deck in extreme 
haste, though most around me made good their landing in about the same time 
I did. Seeing that the boat was not destroyed by the noise, I lingered some 
time on the shore to look at her, but I was careful not to venture again on 

After trying to obtain work at his half-learned trade in 
Albany, Troy and Waterford, without success, he took passage 
in a sloop for Hudson, where, after much tribulation caused by 
being landed some distance above on the opposite side, and hav- 
ing to walk to the ferry, a boy assisting him to carry his trunk, 
he at length arrived. He found work here with a bookbinder, 
who, however, after a week's trial, discharged him for incom- 
petency. For the week's service he received six dollars. He 
"was now placed in a trying position. New York City was the 
only place where any hope of employment was held out. But 
he was one hundred and twenty-five miles from it, and it was so 
late in the season that boats had stopped running, and the stages 
which ran along the shore only in winter, had not yet begun 
jtheir season's work. He therefore sold his trtmk for one dollar, 
land made up its contents into a parcel ; putring all info a home- 
jspun overcoat, sewing up the skirt, sewing the sleeves fast to the 
body and buttoning it uj) in front, he contrived, by passing his 


arms through the fastened sleeves, to make a very efficient knap- 
sack. Thus equipped, he started on foot. Taking an early 
start, he accomplished twelve miles before breakfast, which he 
obtained at a country tavern kept by a German, eating with the 
family in the basement kitchen. Here he ate his first buckwheat 
cake, an event which he very pleasantly commemorates in a 
sketch entitled " My First Buckwheat Cake," but which, for 
want of room, I am constrained to omit. I ought, however, to 
add that I am indebted to this story for the account of this 
journey. He must have been a good walker, for he succeeded 
in accomplishing fifty miles that day, stopping for the night 
before dark. On reaching Poughkeepsie, he was fortunate 
enough to secure a passage in a sloop (the last in the season), 
and in due time he arrived at the great city with two dollars and 
seventy-five cents in his pocket and without a single acquaintance. 
He was fortunate enough to find a place at once where he could 
be employed under instruction to perfect his trade, his wages for ' 
the first year being one dollar per week and board. 

The abdication of Napoleon and the cessation of the war in 
Europe, enabled England to concentrate her strength against 
the United States. A descent on New York being therefore 
feared, defensive works on Long Island were decided upon. The 
construction of these works was mostly the fruit of voluntary 
labor, performed by the citizens of New York and vicinity, in 
gangs which relieved each other, working night and day. These 
were called the "patriotic diggers," and were commemorated in 
a doggerel originally published in the Philadelphia /*/-<? j-j-, and of 
which a copy is to be found in the Buffalo Gazette, September 
13, 1814. Among these unselfish patriots we find the bookbind- 
er's apprentice. 

In the absence of a regular army, thirty thousand State 
^militia were called out by Governor Tompkins to man these 
works and defend the city. Here we again meet young Haskins. 
He was promoted to the rank of corporal, and though it appears 
that neither he nor any of his associate braves ever came under 
fire, I have no doubt but tliat they V-ould have met the emer- 
gency, had it occurred. Certain it is that the conduct oi 
Haskins was such as to draw upon himself the notice of his 


superiors, for the Governor tendered him his interest to get him 
an appointment in the regular army. This he declined, as he 
did not think his education or intelligence at the time fitted him 
for the position. A somewhat severe commentary on the mod- 
esty of the youth of our day ! 

From the many interesting anecdotes contained in the 
written reminiscences of Mr. Haskins, which would doubtless 
be valuable as illustrations of the times and the conditions of 
New York then. I condense the following : 

In 1815, when the Constitution captured the two British ships, the Levant 
and the Cyane, both were sent home as prizes. The former was recaptured, 
but the latter arrived in safety at New York. As she brought her own news, 
her arrival was a surprise. Coming in full view of the city, she commenced 
to fire a salute with the American flag over the British. Commodore Hull, 
the old hero who first made the Constitution famous by the capture of the 
Guerriere, was then in charge of an expedition for the buppressing of piracy. 
His flag ship was the Constellation, and she, with several other smaller vessels 
which formed the squadron, was l>*ing in front of Courtlandt .Street. It was 
Sunday. The day was beautiful, the breeze light and a dense mass of people 
crowded the docks to cVta'.n a sight of the ships, and to hear the news. 
Among them was Haskins. Seeing the old hero, whom he knew, in the 
crowd, and judging that 'the best way of obtaining an elucidation of the 
mysterv- was by getting near him, he elbowed his way to within a few feet of 
where he stood. As soon as the smoke cleared away, the signals rose, and 
the scene which followed rr.ust have been one not easily forgotten. Captain 
Hull, who was rather short and thick-set, no sooner read the signal than, for- 
geuing everything but his patriotism, he jumped as high as he was able, 
enthusiastically clapping his hands, and in a loud voice cried out: " Prize to 
the Constitution, by God *. " At this I stepped behind the captain and 
shouted with all the voice I had : *' Three cheers for Captain Hull and the 
Constitution!" The crowd took up the suggestion with one accord and did it 
ample justice, which was prolonged by repetition again and again. 

After completing his apprenticeship in New York, he first 
found employmenr in Canandaigua. Here, in 181 7, he was 
foreman in the bookbindery of Mr. James Bemis. It was here, 
too, that he formed the acquaintance, which soon ripened into 
intimacy, with Gran Folleit, who, though a younger man, 
doubtless e.xercised a considerable influence upon his future 
career, and who subsequently became his partner in business at 
Buffalo. Mr. Fol'.ett was a printer on the Ontario Repository. 


They both remained in charge of their respective departments in 
Mr. Bemis's establishment for several years. I learn from Wr. 
Follett, to whom I am indebted for many of these facts, that 
they were almost inseparable in their social and literary pursuits. 
It will be readily inferred from the early struggles of Mr. 
Haskins's boyhood, that he had not found much time for going 
to school; in fact, 1 do not find any allusion to the educational 
advantages or disadvantages of his childhood in such memoranda 
as I have been permitted to peruse. It is certain that he made 
good use of such opportunities as offered for his mental improve- 
ment, probably devoting his leisure to reading substantial 
authors. That he digested his mental pabulum, is known by his 
habit of exchanging views on the subjects of his reading with Mr. 
Follett by letter. Mr. Follett had moved to Rochester to take 
charge of Mr. Bemis's interest in the book and printing estab- 
lishment of A. G. Dauby & Co., and the two young men found 
mutual advantage to their literary progress in thus discussing the 
subject of their readings. 

*'In one of these letters, I recollect " (I quote the language 
of Mr. Follett) *'he had been detailing his reading of some new 
essay on the authorship of 'Junius,' and gave the conclusion he 
had come to, that * the chance is "Junius" was written by Sir 
Philip Francis.' " Mr. Follett again says : "I had commenced 
my career as a boy editor by writing for the Gazette ; on my 
return to Canandaigua, I found my friend inspired with a new- 
ambition. I had been writing for the papers — why not he ? 
I left him again for Batavia, Genesee County (then embracing 
all of Monroe, Livingston and Wyoming Counties west of the 
Genesee River ; and Orleans County lying east of the west line 
of old Genesee), to establish the Spirit of the Times ne\vspa[)er. 
It is among my pleasant recollections that my friend lent me 
some ten or twelve dollars to eke out my remaining funds for the 
necessary expense from Canandaigua to my new home."- 

In order to learn to express with grammatical correctness the 
ideas with which his mind -was being charged, he resolved on 
going to school at Canairdaigua A(*ademy, then under the care 
of Mr. Stevenson, and he ai)pears even to have subsequently 
spent the better i)art of a year in Vermont to advance his edu- 


cation, but, as he seems to have been reticent on this subject, I 
have not been able to determine with certainty the place of his 
sojourn. After a short residence in Rochester, whither he had 
fjone to take charge of a bindery in the Dauby «&: Co. establish- 
ment, where he had commenced to write for the press, he 
finally moved to Buffalo, where he arrived in May, 1822 ; of the 
exact date I find no record. His first place of business was at 
204 Main Street (old number), where he established the ** Buf- 
falo Book Store," which was a branch concern of his former 
employer, who "was a partner. As soon as he was fairly settled 
he commenced to contribute to the Buffalo Journal, then owned 
by Mr. Day. For this he received some small compensation. 
The more important articles from his pen, however, were con- 
tributions to Lyman A. Spalding's paper at Lockport. This 
was a semi-monthly and was called Priestcraft Exposed. 
This paper was liberal in religious views, and old Cotton Mather 
and the witch-burners* suffered severely at the hands of Mr. 
Haskins, who, at this time, professed to be a Universalist. In 
his contributions to the Joiir?ial, he found a subject for his 
caustic pen in the projected building of Black Rock Harbor. He 
fought the scheme because he believed it to have been started 
for individual interest rather than for public good. He urged 
that ordinary causes of Nature, such as currents, etc., would 
destroy the works, or if built strong enough to resist desintegrat- 
ing elements (as with money enough they might be made to do), 
it would fill up in time with sediment. He alleged the well 
known difficulties of keeping mill dams in order as an example, 
but was met by the counter argument, that this was not a mill 
dam and therefore was not a parallel case. 'I'he record of this 
controversy is not extant, the files of the Journal for this year 
having been burned in the fire that destroyed the store. Time, 
that great unveiler of Truth, has vindicated Mr. Haskins here, for 
I large portions of the first works were washed away, causing 
] destruction of life and property, and when they were afterwards 
I by a large expenditure made to stand, the gradual filling of the 

' * Allusions to witch-burners atid witch-burninti: in New England are frequent in 

•ilerature; yet the modern contention is that although many were hanged and one was 
pressed to death, no witch was ever hurncd in New England. H this be true, it would 
*'e interesting^ to know tlie origin of such a widely-accepted and persistent fallacy — Ed. 


harbor became a fact for dredges to remove. A paper entitled 
'* Historical Recollections of Black Rock Harbor," written by 
Mr. Haskins and published in the Buffalo Alorning Express of 
May 2, 1865, refers to this subject in connection with the paper 
on Black Rock Harbor written by Richard Williams, Esq. and 
read by him at a meeting of this club. 

In 1823 Mr. Haskins was married to Miss Eliza Car\l. 
daughter of Benjamin Caryl, Esq. This lady was the sister of 
Mrs. Lucius Storrs, Mrs. Dr. Warner and Mrs. J. H. Coleman, 
and Messrs. Clark and Hamilton Caryl. The fruits of this 
marriage were five children, George W., Clark C, Charles H., 
John F., William B. and Eliza, all except the oldest now [1870] 
living. This union proved a very happy one, as Mrs. Haskins 
was a lady of excellent- character and disposition, and her hus- 
band kind and considerate. Their home was a small frame 
house on Ellicott Street, between Seneca and Swan. 

In 1826 Mr, FoUett formed a partnership with Mr. Day and 
at once took charge of the editorial department of the Jour?iaL 
On the 24th of July, 1827, Mr, Follett having purchased Mr. 
Bemis's interest in Mr. Haskins's bookstore and library, the firm 
of Day, Follett & Haskins was established ; Mr. Follett retaining 
his exclusive charge of the paper. 

In October, 1827, a project was started among the citizens of 
Buffalo to induce Captain Partridge to establish in their city a 
branch of the American Scientific and Military Academy, whose 
headquarters was Norwich, Vermont, and of which he was 
president. It appears that the inception of this originated with 
Mr. Haskins of the Buffalo yi?//r//^/, Hon. Samuel Wilkeson of 
the Senate and David Burt of the Assembly. The subject was 
afterwards brought before the citizens of Buffalo at a meeting 
called for the purpose, but was abandoned or postponed because, 
^he winter before, an Act of Legislature had incorporated the 
Buffalo High School Association, and though at the time of the 
application to Captain Partridge it lay dormant, very soon after 
it had been revived by a donation from abroad which had iormed 
the nucleus of a subscription that n-^s going on at the time the 
above mentioned meeting was held, and it was the sense of that 
meeting " that the village could not support both institutions, 


at least at that time." If I am not mistaken, this was the origin 
of the military academy, afterwards kept in the building now 
occupied as the hospital of the Sisters of Charity. 

The committee on behalf of the citizens appointed in this 
matter were R. W. Haskins, M. A. Andrews and R. B. Heacock. 

On the 14th of November, 1827, the establishment of Day, 
Follett & Haskins was burnt. Presses and material in both 
printing office and bindery were all lost, as was also the most of 
the stock in the book store. The firm was (for the time and 
place) largely engaged in the publication of school books, and 
their plates and stock in trade were all destroyed. I believe that 
our respected townsman, Mr. O. G. Steele,* was a journeyman 
bookbinder in the concern at the time, and that even he was a 
loser by the conflagration. The loss exceeded the insurance by 
several thousands of dollars, and the publication of the Buffalo 
Journal was by this suspended for several weeks. It was resumed 
again the 29th of December, and it became in time, by the 
consolidation with the Buffalo Patriot, the germ of the present 
Commercial Advertiser, and may be said to exist even now, 
under its new name, The Patriot and Joicrnal, as the weekly 
publication of that paper. 

In 1 83 1, March the 31st, the firm of Day, Follett & Has- 
kins, printers, book-sellers and book-binders, was dissolved, Mr. 
Haskins retaining the bookstore and bindery. The new store 
was situated on the east side of Main Street in what is known as 
Ellicott Square. 

In 1832 Mr. Haskins sold out to the late A. W. Wilgus. 
Having thus retired from mercantile pursuits, he resolved to turn 
his attention to the cultivation of his mental powers and the 
pursuit of scientific studies so congenial to his tastes, and to 
devote his time and talents to public good. In this last field he 
found immediate employment. The year 1S32 stands out in the 
calendar of the past marked with heavy black lines, not only in 
the history of Buffalo, not only in that of America, but in that of 
the world ! It is one of the fearful e}iOchs of history, for it was the 
year when the gloomy shadows of the dark wings of Azrael seemed 
very near ; when one of his most dreaded agents stalked abroad in 

*Died November 11, 1S79.— Ed. 


the ghastly and loathsome form of the Asiatic cholera ! Honor to 
whom honor is due. All honor to Roswell W. Haskins ; for it was 
during this fearful scourge that his really noble nature showed to 
|:he greatest advantage. I would not undervalue the labor of his 
coadjutors — they did well — nobly — the work required of them; but 
so untiring was the zeal of my lamented friend, so fearless was he 
in his daily encounter with the evil that it were public ingrati- 
tude to refuse the amaranth to his memory, and sacrilege to tear 
it thence. Day after day, hour after hour did this faithful man 
Visit the sick, dying and dead. Comparatively lictle was known 
even by physicians of the nature of the disease and the hygienic 
requirements, but such as general principles demanded were 
attended to by his constant persona^l supervision. In this he 
was greatly aided by Mr. L. F. Allen, his coadjutor, and by the 
late Loring Pierce, then city sexton. 

If in this sketch I manifest an anxiety to bring out the good 
traits of Mr. Haskins's character it is because I fear they were 
too often hidden under his rough exterior. Those who did not 
know his inner life, or wlio only knew him late in his life, saw 
in him only an overbearing, dictatorial egoist. True, they could 
not deny that if he was not a savant, his knowledge was exten- 
"sive, accurate, and varied, his purposes good, and his honor 
unquestioned, but they did not all know how tender was the 
heart that beat under his outside crustiness. All could see the 
objectionable points of his character; indeed, he took too little 
pains to hide them. I am not writing the history of the cholera, 
nor do 1 wish to claim that Mr. Haskins was the sole agent in 
arresting its ravages in Buffalo. I know that there was a Board 
of Health, and that it had its regular sittings. This Board 
consisted of Dr. E. Johnson, the Mayor, ex-officio, R. W. 
Haskins, L. F. Allen and J. Clary. The late Dyre Tillinghast. 
at a^salary of $50 per month, was clerk of the Board, and those 
who knew him need not be told that he performed his duties 
in a thorough and satisfactory manner. Dr. J. E. Marshall was 
health physician, and the -re^^orts to the Board testify to hi> 
efficiency. Indeed, there"was no httk of devotion on the p-art 
of the honorable and self-sacrificing profession to which he 
belonged. All had their hands full, as their reports shou . 


These documents were sometimes addressed to the Board of 
Health and sometimes to Mr. Tillinghast, as its clerk, but all 
were referred to Mr. Haskins, and are now among his papers. 
There can be no doubt, therefore, that the principal burden was 
permitted to fall on him, though valuable aid was rendered by 
both Dr. Johnson and Mr. Allen. 

As many grave responsibilities were assumed when occasion 
demanded, an Act by the city authorities endorsed the acts of 
the Board, and a vote of thanks became their sole reward. Mr. 
Haskins was requested to write a sketch of the history of these 
dark days, but declined on the ground that he could not do so 
without making himself too prominent. 

In 1833, ^^^- Haskins and Dr. Clark became equal partners 
in the purchase of what was then known as the Pratt and Leach 
farm. This eventually proved a source of much annoyance to 
them. both. As the matter is so well known to those of our 
citizens who take an interest in such things, and as, besides, its 
full history is to be found recorded in the minutes of a rather 
costly and prolonged lawsuit, I have concluded to omit more 
than a mere allusion to it here. They were partners in the suit, 
and suffice it to say that by its conclusion Mr. Haskins's heirs 
have been put into possession of property, which, when freed 
from incumbrances, will leave a fair, if not a large inheritance. 

Shortly after this purchase, Mr. Haskins effected two sales, 
the joint product of which was nearly $70,000, less than $13,000 
of which he ever realized. Always sanguine and by nature 
disposed to look on the bright side, he at this time thought himself 
possessed of sufficient income, not only for his simple wants, 
but even for the gratification of his desires in the promotion and 
pursuits of practical science with which his ever active brain was 

He now devoted his time mostly to the pursuits that were 
congenial to his tastes. Although in his mental cravings he was 
omnivorous, he best loved scientific pursuits. He seems, how- 
ever, never to have devoted himself to anything for itst-lf. His 
was the spirit of the true philosopher — tlfe desire that mankind 
might be benefitted by the general result of all knowledge. 


In the pursuit of his studies he was met at the threshold by 
an unlooked-for obstacle, viz : a dearth of books in the English 
language. Not that there was not enough of books, such as 
tijey were, but he often found them erroneous and biased as to 
facts, if original, and if translated, perverted to suit the taste of 
the English nation. This was particularly his opinion as re- 
garded translations from the French, and he, therefore, set about 
to master their language sufficiently to read their works in the 
original, and thus have the benefit of their valuable contribu- 
tions to art and science, especially those inestimable papers read 
before the French Academy of Science, and published in the 
Comptes Reudiis, a periodical to which he became a regular 

The history of the French Revolution had exercised a power- 
ful influence in forming his habits of thought ; though never a 
politician, he was by nature a democrat. His generous nature 
rose against every species of oppression, and history had in- 
formed him that the "divine right of kings" was only another 
name for the arbitrary sway of the powerful over the weak. 
Especially was he an enemy to anything like a privileged class, 
and because the clergy had generally been firm supporters of 
thrones, he classed them among the oppressors of mankind, and 
enemies to freedom and self-government. He learned to look 
upon religion as opposed to science, and indeed the pious 
Christian zeal of half a century ago was often engaged in 
defending the Holy Book against that bug-bear. Had Mr. 
Haskins commenced life under different auspices, his opinion> 
on religious subjects would doubtless have had a different bias. 
Had his search for truth been led and fostered by a Christian 
intelligence, like that of our day, when religion and science are 
no longer afraid to go hand in hand, instead of meeting eacli 
othetwith the jealous frown of opposition; had intelligent and 
kind-hearted friends showed him that God is love, and thai 
true Christianity consists in love to God and charity to man, 
rather than in a strict adherence to a dogma; had his combative 
nature not been goaded tt) defiance^by a manner which ever said 
to the honest doubter : Stand aloof, I am holier than thou ; his 
natural purity of character and correctness of purpose might 


have led him into the ranks of Christian investigators, instead 
of forcing him as it were, to look with distrust upon everything 
which resred its claim upon the supernatural. Unhappily, how- 
ever, he found the so-called orthodox church, in his youth, 
almost a unit in branding free inquiry into the mysteries of 
nature's origin, with a stigma of infidelity ; and in his turn, he 
learned to regard its ministers as men who either feared the truth, 
or chose to live and teach in wilful ignorance. God alone can 
judge of our motives, but it is certain that with the exception of 
occasional outbursts of passion and consequent sinful language, 
the habirual life of this skeptic cried shame on many who 
professed to believe the Word of God. 

I do not know whence his marked dislike to the English, or 
rather the Anglo-Saxon, race proceeded. It probably had its 
origin in a variety of causes. Doubtless in part it was inherited 
from his Revolutionary ancestors, and fostered by his own parti- 
cipation in. and surroundings of, the War of 1812, together 
with the political issues of that day; but I suspect that not a 
little was due to the insolent tone of the English press, and the 
execration their writers lavished upon the authors of the French 
Revolution, and their misrepresentation of the motives of men 
whom he regarded as high-toned and pure-minded patriots. He 
did not, it is true, deny that much credit was due the British 
nation for the advances made by her poets, philosophers, and 
scientists, but he stoutly insisted that in this the honor was due 
to the Xorman and Gothic races, while none was to be accredited 
to the Anglo-Saxons. 

While pursuing his studies in French and the natural sciences 
he received valuable aid from Dr. Lucien W. Caryl, once a 
partner of Dr. J. E. Marshall. Dr. Caryl was too much 
absorbed in the study of mathematics — in which science he was 
not only greatly proficient, but is said to have had few equals — 
to be an available practitioner, and the partnership did not long 
continue. It was his desire and purpose to pursue, uninterrupt- 
edly if possible, his favorite study. In this he was aided by his 
friend Haskins, who supplied him with the necessary books and 
instruments; some of which, such as La Place's '* Mechanique 
Celeste," were of considerable value. Mr. Haskins and the 


Doctor occupied rooms together on the corner of Main and 
Seneca Streets, over what was the " Checkered Store." I have 
heard Mr. Haskins say that they, at this time, were endeavoring 
to construct a lens for astronomical purposes, which was to be 
double and contain a highly refracting liquid, and, if I mistake 
not, it was intended to do away with spherical aberration by 
making its form parabolical. But Dr. Caryl's principal work 
was on a mathematical formula, which was intended as an ampli- 
fication or addition to La Place's great w^ork, and was to apjjear 
in the form of notes. It was the intention of Mr. Haskins to 
provide for the Doctor's necessities during his labors, and to aid 
in the publication of the work when completed. The deatli of 
Dr. Caryl prevented the accomplishment of these generous 
intentions, as well as the completion of the book. The manu- 
script, after remaining in the possession of Mr. Haskins, wa>, 
about a year before his death, handed over to the author's 
daughter. About the same time he was thus engaged, Mr. 
Haskins provided himself with a library, which, it was his boast. 
contained not one aseless book. Indeed, though not large, it 
was one of the best, if not the best, in the city, if utility be the 
test. Many of these books were imported direct from France, 
and all were selected with great care. 

One of our oldest, best and most honored citizens, who, 
thank God, is still living,^ told me the following anecdote which 
I think is due to the memory of ,Mr. Haskins to relate 
here. The gentleman to whom I refer came to Buffalo about the 
time that Mr. Haskins and Dr. Caryl were busy together, and as 
his own pursuits had been of a similar nature to the Doctor's, he 
sometimes called at the office to while away a moment in 
pleasant conversation. Understanding that Mr. Haskins wanted 
a copy of the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, then just republished in 
the United States, he told him one day that he was short of 
funds and would sell the book to him for $ioo. Mr. Hdskins's 
reply was: ''You seem to me to be a man that can make good 
use of the book yourself, and'I t,hink you had better keep it '' — 
at the same time stepping'into an itdjoining room, from which 

*Dr. W. K. Scott, died January 5, 1879.— Ed. 



he soon emerged, putting $ioo into the hands of his visitor with 
words to this effect: ** Here is the money, if you become pros- 
perous you can' pay it, and if you don't, I shall never be the 
worse for it.V The loan was thankfully received, and I need 
not add that it was paid with interest. This act, however, 
toward a stranger who did not at the time reside in the city, was 
one of uncommon generosity, and was always remembered with 

Mr. Haskins was chairman of the meeting of citizens who 
organized the 'present Young Men's Association. During a 
religious revival a call had been published by some of the citi- 
zens for this purpose. Fears seemed to have been entertained by 
some that an effort was to be made to place it under sectarian 
influence, and this they resolved, if possible, to prevent. The 
meeting having been called at the colirt house at seven o'clock 
p. m., a goodly number were on hand before the hour appointed, 
and no sooner had the clock on the First Church ceased to 
strike seven than those present called the meeting to order, 
placed Mr. Haskins in the chair, and appointed a secretary. 
Scarcely was this accomplished before some of those who had 
originated the call made their appearance. These, after pro- 
testing, withdrew, calling another meeting, which, however, 
was not sufficiently numerously attended to warrant further pro- 
ceedings. The above is a condensed account of the matter in a 
letter of Mr. Haskins to one of his Ohio sons. In this relation 
he gives no names, but he adds that most of the disaffected 
eventually became members of the Association. 

In 1836 Mr. Haskins became a widower, and by temporary 
absence from the scene of his sorrow, to lessen it, made a visit to 
New England. He was at this time in a condition to assist his 
relations, who I believe were most of them, if not all, in 
straitened circumstances, and he did so to the full extent of his 

He was the first who held the office of Superintendent of 
Public Schools in our city. The appointment, under the old 
State law, was made by the Common Co'uncil, and the notice 
read as follows : 


Buffalo City Clerk's Office, Jan. lo, 1S37. 
X Sir — At a meeting of the Common Council, on the 9th instant, you were 
appointed Superintendent of Common Schools. 
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, 

T. e. Peters, Clerk. 

Finding that his powers under this instrument were too 
limited to effect the needed reforms, he, after a few months' 
trial, resigned the office. In his letter of resignation he threw 
out some valuable suggestions, which were afterward incorpor- 
ated in the new State law, under which his immediate succe^ssor, 
Mr. O. G. Steele, was enabled to be so useful, and which has 
been so valuable to the educational interest of not only the State 
of New York, but has even, if I mistake not, served as a model 
for many other States. It is pleasant to temember that this 
prompt resignation of Mr. Haskins, and the advice accompany- 
ing it, has aided in this happy consummation. 

One of the most important of Mr. Haskins's papers on 
scientific subjects was probably written this year. It was 
entitled ''Examination of the Theory of a Resisting Medium," 
in which it is assumed that the planets and comets of our system 
are moved. It first appeared in Silliman' s Jonrfial, January, 
1838, and is the first article in the number. His aim in this 
was to show that the existence of this supposed fluid was not 
proved. Especially did he point out that comets' tails were not, 
as had been claimed by some of the most learned, invariably 
projected from the sun in a direct line drawn through the center 
of that luminary, and thus the arguments for the presence of this 
''resisting medium," based on this assumption, he proved to be 
of no value. He did not attempt to settle the question, but I 
think he made good his point : that more convincing proofs 
•were needed to make the theory an established article of scientific 

In August, 1839, the honorary degree of Master of- Arts was 
conferred upon him by the University of Vermont. The letter 
which announced this honor concludes with the following 
words: "Praying that your laboK in the cause of science may 
be eminently successful, I remain, with high regard, very truly 
yours, etc., John Wheeler, President." 


la tne same year he published his " History and Progress of 
Pr.rcnology," a work of more than 200 pages octavo. This 
b-vik was based upon two lectures on the history of phrenology, 
delivered before the Western Phrenological Society at Buffalo in 
April and May. 

In 1S40 Mr. Haskins again married. This second wife, 
whose maiden name was Emma Stowe, was the widow of John 
T. Daly, of Cleveland, Ohio. One daughter was the sole fruit 
of this union. She bears her mother's Christian name, and was, 
no: long before her father's death, married to Mr. Truman C. 
White. Mrs. Haskins survives her husband. I am tempted to 
eulogize the worth and domestic virtues of this lady, — but to 
thc-e most interested it would seem strangely superfluous, since 
everv day she is permitted to remain .on earth only endears her 
to tnem more and more. 

In 1S41 he published his " Astronomy for Schools." This is 
a volume of 324 pages, based upon Arago's lectures at the 
Royal Observatory of Paris. In it, as may be read upon the 
tiile page, the author professes to teach the leading truths of 
astronomy, and clearly illustrate them '^ without mathematical 
denionstration." It was intended for a text-book in schools, 
but, although an interesting and highly instructive treatise, it 
failed to become so, and yielded no remunerative return for the 
lahor expended. 

A popular essay on comets followed in 1S42, and' the same 
year he wrote a series of letters on New England and the West, 
for the Boston At/as. These were republished in pamphlet 
form in the following year. 

*' Anterior to Greece and Rome " was a pamphlet written in 

1844. and in 1846 appeared his critical essay on " Hazlitt's 

Translation of Guizot's History of Civilization." In December, 

the same year, he wrote a letter to M. Guizot, and received a 

, complimentary reply from the great philosopher, dated Feb- 

1 niary, 1847. I have not critically reviewed this essay, but from 

\ the glances I have been able to bestow upon it, I have no doubt 

; that the author's sense is better preserved by Mr. Hawkins in the 

Specimens which he presents for comparison, though I have 

detected some errors from which the translation of Mr. Hazlitt 

is free. 


With the exception of short periods of editorial labors, of 
which mention will be made hereafter, the last fifteen years of 
Mr. Haskins's life were spent in scientific and philosophical 
"^ pursuits and in endeavors to turn his varied knowledge into 
practical use. In this, I regret to say, he was generally unsuc- 
cessful. He was fond of observing the phenomena of nature, 
and often spent his nights in watching meteorological exhibi- 
tions, or with his telescope scanning the sidereal heavens. He 
gave most of his attention, however, to geology, and not only 
was he perfectly at home in this department of science in his 
own neighborhood, but whenever he went away from home he 
sought familiarity with the treasures of knowledge with which 
the surface of the earth abounds. Unlike the pure scientist, 
however, he was ever trying to find a way to turn the mysterious 
agencies of nature to some practical use. X handful of silicious 
sand was not only a geological fact to be recorded — remunera- 
tive and extensive glass-works rose before his mind's eye. Did 
bubbles of carburetted hydrogen rise up in a fissure of a rock, 
or in a swampy spring, they became angels of light that were to 
do battle with those hated demons of monopoly, the gas works. 
It is true that he was too sanguine, that some of his plans were, 
if not really impracticable, hedged about with so many practical 
difficulties which he would not or could not see, as to make 
them virtually so, but not unfrequently did he anticipate by 
many years improvements of great value. An instance of this 
was the suggestion of adopting the plan of using iron columns 
as supports for buildings, instead of stone. This idea was 
suggested by a small foundry having recently been started in 
Buffalo. He wrofe an article proposing the plan, but according 
to his own statement it was treated with contempt. The vari- 
ations of the temperature, his contemners said, would disinte- 
grate the iron, the buildings would fall, life would be lost or 
endangered, and lots of mischief done through the foolish whim 
of Haskins. It also aj)pears that he was in advance in proposing 
a through line of railroad- from Buftalo to Albany. As this 
subject is of so much gefieral interest, I will allow him to tell 
his own story. He says : 


When railroads were yet scarcely known in this country, I drew up a 
circular addressed to the inhabitants of the various villages along the route, 
requesting their co-operation in procuring a charter for a railroad from Buffalo 
to Albany. This was printed, and sent, in the name of a committee, to all 
the towns along the line; and it was everj'where treated with silent contempt^ 
except in a single instance, and in that case a most insulting and abusive 
letter was sent to our committee, calling us vile names, and characterizing the 
proposition as one of marked stupidity. Well, just ten years from the day of 
that event, there was opened a continuous railroad from Buffalo to Portland, 
Me. I have the original manuscript now of the circular. 

The subject of lighting houses and cities also engaged much 
of his attention. I have hinted at the interest he took in natural 
gas, and his plans for utilizing it were formed upon a magnificent 
scale. These were based upon the supposition that the supply 
was unlimited, and of this he entertained scarcely a doubt, since, 
according to his theory, this and other kindred wonders of 
geology were the results of nature's chemical laboratories on the 
grandest scale. He had even thought of making electricity 
perform the office of supplying man with artificial light, but he 
did not succeed in determining the practicability of this, owing 
to want of means in his experiments. This project seems to 
have been thrown out as a hint, and he thought the importance 
of the result, if successful, would warrant some expenditure to 
ascertain if it were feasible. Another of his suggestions related 
to the protection of ships from lightning, but I have not learned 
whether any attempt was made to ascertain the value of his plan. 
Suffice it here to say that his mind constantly teemed with 
schemes for utilizing the discoveries in science and knowledge. 
It will be readily remembered by all who hear me, how interested 
and sanguine he was when the oil regions of Pennsylvania were 
re-discovered. Here he hoped to find the means for future use- 
fulness. He became personally interested in the search, himself 
superintending the boring of wells, and, with the enthusiasm and 
the hope of youth, labored both with hand and brain in the 
attainment of the realization of his hopes. Alas ! like many 
j — like most — he failed. His exhausted means aud credit forbade 

further attempts, and he returned to Buffalo — a disappointed, 
stricken man. I think this blow sensibly affected his spirits ; at 
all events in rny subsequent intercourse with him. which was 


alu-ays pleasant, he seemed subdued. True, he rallied and 
interested himself in other enterprises, but only to meet fresh 
disappointments. Though Mr. Haskins had been an irregular 
contributor to newspapers, since his connection with the Patj-iot 
and Journal ceased, he had not been attached to the editorial 
staff of any till 1845, when, together with his son George, and 
John C. Bonner, he commenced to edit the National Pilot, 
owned by the late B. A. Manchester. He continued in this 
position till a change in the policy of the paper obliged him to 
sever his connection with it. Some years after this he was one of 
the editors of the Morning Express, and some of the articles 
which he wrote for this paper were those upon which he bestowed 
most thought and pains. His style as a writer was terse, though 
simple and straightforward. But, in discussing a subject, his 
opinions were uttered with a directness which was more cal- 
culated to stir up opposition than to convince. He scorned as 
subterfuge that kind of circumlocution which is intended to save 
the amour propre of a vanquished opponent, and thus win him 
to an acknowledgment of the right, based on the proper view 
of the facts. In short, whatever of wisdom he possessed, none 
of that of the serpent was mingled with it. Perhaps in this, as 
much as in anything, lay his weakness. In oral controversy, 
though love of approbation was a marked trait in his zeal for 
what he deemed the right, he never stopped to consider in 
the heat of a discussion how offensively he framed his language. 
His large frame, flexible and expressive features and con- 
temptuous gestures added much to the force of his speech, 
giving it a harshness that was foreign to his heart. This was 
often proved by the manner in which he received a well-timed 
and proper rebuke from anyone whom he really liked and 
respected. The following anecdote is one of many instances in 
point : 

Many years ago, Mr. Haskins and a friend casually met, one 
morning, in the reading-room of the Young Men's Association. 
His friend, going there to're^ad, and knowing Mr. Haskins's 
propensity to converse, at first seenfed not to notice his presence, 
but after a time, feeling that civility required that he should do 
so, called Mr. Haskins's attention to a paragraph about England, 



which he thought would please him ; but on reading it, Mr. 
Haskins became personal and offensive, whereupon the friend, 
with some spirit, said : ** Mr. Haskins, this must stop. I have 
borne it quite too often. In the expression of your views you 
are overbearing and unfeeling — and this is not my opinion only, 
but that of all with whom you converse." The friend was 
prepared for an explosion, but was amazed and entirely disarmed 
by Mr. Haskins disclaiming, with tears in his eyes, any intention 
to be offensive, and asserting his utter unconsciousness of having 
been so. "-And as to others," said he, ''the fault is theirs, not 
mine. When I was supposed to be rich, my opinions were treated 
with respect, but now that I am supposed to be poor, my 
opinions and feelings are overborne and disregarded." It is 
needless to add that Mr. Haskins and his friend, after a length- 
ened and pleasant conversation which passed to other topics, 
parted in perfect kindness, and neither ever afterward alluded to 
their momentary difference. 

He at one time conceived the idea of establishing a news- 
paper which should furnish continental European news direct 
and unadulterated by what he conceived to be English perversion. 
In this he did not receive the support he had hoped for, and was 
besides subjected to gratuitous attacks by some members of the 
press, ridicule rather than argument being the weapon used. 
This, and the contempt with which most of his projects were 
treated, together with his straitened circumstances, had a 
tendency to sour his otherwise cheerful disposition and to cause 
him to avoid society. 

The discovery of the mineral wealth of California was a 
subject of great interest to him. In 1850 he wrote and published 
his well-known essay on gold. He took the ground that the 
precious metals used for money owe their standard value to old 
usage and legal enactments ; that money, therefore, is property 
in a different sense from that of any other commodity ; that 
gold and silver, early in the history of the world, had been 
chosen as standards of value of circulating- media on account of 
their scarcity, being then the results "of fortuitous discovery 
without the aid of science ; that their power over labor was due 
to their being in the possession of so few ; that in the earliest 


history of the world this power was greatest, and had gradually 
decreased as the supply became greater and mankind more free ; 
that they still had an undue preponderance over labor, and that 
an abundant and inexhaustible supply would eventually destroy 
their power. He believed that the mines of California would 
furnish this supply, and that the time was not far distant when the 
value of the use of money would be reduced ; when it could 
no longer atone for violated laws or outraged morals, when toil 
would be more equally distributed among men, and the world grow 
wiser and better. I am too little acquainted with the science of 
political economy to judge of the real merit of these thoughts. I 
know they are and were received with scornful incredulity by 
some, but I submit that it would be premature to say that 
this consummation, which all good men should wish for, may 
not form a millennial future of another though remote era. 

Mr. Haskins published another essay in 1852. This time the 
subject was Art. Though well written and novel in its 
suggestions, it was of too impracticable a nature to win favor 
with those for whose perusal it was chiefly written — the artists. I 
will, therefore, content myself with the bare mention of it. 

In 1857 George VV. Haskins died. Though Mr. Haskins 
bore this blow with outward stoicism, it was a crushing one, for 
not only was George his first-born, but his genius as a writer was 
of so high an order that his friends had every reason to believe 
that scarcely any hope might be too high of his lliture distinction. 
He added to this a genial temper, gentle manners, and a liigh 
sense of moral rectitude. " None knew him but to love him." 
He was one of those choice spirits who in the hearts of their 
friends will ever be immortal. 

I'hough in former years Mr. Haskins was a Democrat and a 
firm believer in Gen. Jackson, in the latter part of his life he 
aded with the Republican party. He was never a politician 
except in the larger and more dignified sense of the word, -never 
sought office, nor would he have given such pledges as would 
have made him an available candidate for ])arty. He was an 
independent thinker on all Subjects, and consequently in perfect 
harmony with no fixed creed. During our late Civil War, his 
sympathy and aid were on the side of the existing Government. 


Especially did he take great interest in the naval warfare of the 
Mississippi and its tributaries. He spent a good portion of his 
time at New Albany, Ind., watching the process of the building 
of some gunboats projected, to some extent at least, upon a plan 
suggested by our whilom townsman Rollin Germain, Esq., whose 
theory of naval architecture he strongly advocated. He w^as 
also occasionally employed in geological investigations con- 
nected with mining. Indeed, he was seldom idle, though he 
doubtless disliked the routine work of employments that did not 
suit his taste, and therefore seemed an idler to the regular 
business-man. He was fond of conversation, and when this did 
not take a controversial turn there were few who could better 
entertain his friends in that way. His fund of anecdotes and 
talent for story-telling will be readily remembered by the 
habitues of Wilgus's bookstore, or later in Mr. Steele's, where the 
" Buffalo Platform," as it was facetiously called, was erected. 
Mr. Haskins always took great pleasure in the encouragement of 
youth, in their endeavors to cultivate their talents. Thus was 
young Wilgus, the artist, a special object of his kind offices. 
Indeed, the lad received his first box of good water-paints from 
Mr. Haskins, and was afterwards in many ways benefitted by him. 
He also materially aided by his advice and instruction the 
young men whose organization, under the name of the Lyceum 
of Natural Sciences, served to some extent to prepare the way 
for the present Society of Natural Sciences. It is true these 
associations had separate origins, but the first-named being 
merged into the other, their small collection became the nucleus 
of its well-arranged and important museum-. Mr. Haskins was 
made an honorary member of the Society of Natural Sciences, 
and never omitted to do what was in his power for its advance- 
ment. He seldom if ever visited an interesting region without 
bringing back some specimen for its shelves, and never ceased to 
exercise a fostering care over it to the best of his ability. He 
also contributed to enrich other kindred institutions with his 
** treasure trove." Agassiz's museum, that-of^ Yale, Salem, and 
many others were severally indebted to his intelligent zeal, and 
I there is not a quarry within come-at-able distance that has not 

been resonant of his hammer. On trips for these purposes it was 


an invaluable privilege to be his companion. All his angularity 
seemed to be reser^-ed for the polish of the city. In the country 
or in the quarry he was uniformly gentle, amusing, instructive, 
in short, delightful. As an amusement, he was fond of fishing. 
But unless success crowned his efforts he was not always as patient 
as an angler ought to be. We were one beautiful summer after- 
noon out in the lake in a boat together, fishing for black bass. 
I had a nice rod, reel and delicate snooded hooks; he was using 
a hand-line, strong enough for whales, and hooks to match. 
With this kind of gear he had been successful in olden times, 
when the finny tribe were in their savage condition. He did not 
realize that they had become educated in finesse by the wily arts 
of the white man. After waiting a good while for a bite he 
began to grow restless, and at last he growled out : •'•' What is the 
good of that pole in this depth of water ? " I told him I thought 
I could fish better with it. Incredulous silence was his reply. 
Soon, however, I had a bite and caught a fine fish ; another and 
another, and still another, followed in quick succession, while 
not a nibble could be felt on his hook. To his everlasting credit 
be it said that he made no effort to throw me overboard, but 
only remarked as we were going home, ••! believe there is 
something in the pole after all. ' 

Thus have I, to the best of my ability, endeavored to trace, 
as rapidly as possible, the outlines of the life of my friend till 
the last two or three years of his life. These were mostly spent 
in alternate sojourns among his children in Indiana or Missouri, 
and with his Limily in Buffalo. 

The last of his literary labors was a small pamphlet on Central 
Heat — showing that the doctrine is not founded on such facts as 
entitle it to be received in science. Indeed, he always advocated 
the doctrine of a solid center of the earth. He also translated 
'Several papers from the Comptcs ReuAus, for Silliman s Journal. 
One was by Poisson, on the coal formation, and I reroember 
another by the same author where a mathematical line ol 
argument is used a;^'ainst the central heat. 

Some men are so constituted that only abstractions interest 
them. They use their money and talent in endeavoring to 
comprehend causes, and discovering general laws. Others are 



wholly practical, and comparing the former by themselves, they 
pronounce them dreamers, drones of society, even while they 
accumulate wealth by turning their thoughts to remunerative 
account. It is not that the former despise wealth — far from it ; 
they are made painfully conscious at every step of their investi- 
gations of jts value, but they cannot love it for itself. They 
cannot worship the golden calf. They look upon wealth as 
seed to be sown broadcast, that from it may spring up and blossom 
the hesperidean fruits of Art and Science, the ambrosia which shall 
make man's nature more and more divine. The pure scientist, 
or the abstract benefactor, is too prone to judge harshly of his 
brother who will not easily part with dross it has cost him so 
much anxiety and labor to accumulate. There is a third class 
that combines to some extent the elements of the other two. 
These are the successful leaders of public enterprise ; they mould 
the hypermundane idea of the theoretical thinker into a form 
which adapts it to worldly use, and their own success is a 
guarantee to the worshipper of Mammon, that good use will be 
made of the means which public opinion, or his own- conscience, 
compels him to disburse. Substantially Mr. Haskins belonged to 
the first of these, and yet so desirous was he to benefit his kind 
that he would have resented with indignation the slightest 
intimation that he was a theorist His was a singular mixture of 
the elements of human nature, but honesty and benevolence were 
the subsoil of all. He took too broad a view of the world, and 
desired too much the good of all to attach himself strongly to in- 
dividuals. , It follows naturally that individuals did not attach 
themselves to him. It perhaps followed that he should often be 
misunderstood and even hated. There is nothing new and strange 
in this. He had labored to cultivate his mind, had led a pure life, 
had labored honestly for public good, had been an important agent 
in forming the manners of his adopted city and in making it 
respected, had held important and self-sacrificing offices of public 
trust and responsibility without compensation, followed an 
honorable line of conduct through life, and he felt that he had 
deserved resi)ectful treatment from his fellow-citiJens, a tribute 
which he believed, had he been successful in accumulating wealth, 
none would have denied him. 


In personal appearance Mr. Haskins was fine-looking. He 
was above the medium height, strongly made and well pro- 
portioned, with a slight inclination to corpulency. His head was 
large and well-shaped. His hair was gray, worn rather long, 
and brushed or rather pushed back from the face all around. 

\ His eyes were brown and deeply set. Being near-sighted he 
wore spectacles, always of silver and with a straight bar between 
the glasses, on account of the flatness of the upper part of his 
nose, which at its lower end was quite round and inclined to turn 
up. His mouth was rather large and capable of great expression ; 
especially was it sweet in its smile ; the chin was rather square, 
but well formed ; the complexion fair, but browned with exposure 
to the outer air. His habitual expression was thoughtful but 

* good-natured.' He was through life a model of temperance in 
everything. He never used intoxicating drinks, or tobacco ; was 
regular in all his habits, punctual to meals, frugal without meanness. 
With a good constitution it was to be expected that his health 
should be uniformly good ; still he had his ailments, for which he 
used homoeopathic remedies, having paid much attention to this 
system, and being a full believer in its efficacy. He had had on one 
or two previous occasions symptoms akin to those of the disease 
of which he died (dry gangrene), which had yielded to treatment. 
The time came at last when his spirit could no longer occupy its 
tenement of earth, and after a short illness, being confined to bed 
but a {^w days, on Saturday night, the 15th of January, 1S70, he 
calmly expired. 

After a troubled and prolonged earthly probation, peculiar 
in its trials, let us hope that his active, virtuous and benevolent 
soul has found at last the only path that leads to true science, and 
that along that path his free spirit may be guided by angelic 
wisdom to the Throne of God ! 






The early days of March, '74, will long be associated with 
National bereavement and sorrow. An ex-President, universally 
honored, and his first friend and chosen associate in the conduct 
of the Government, both brought into the most responsible of 
human relations at a period in our history almost revolutionary, 
both conservative by temperament, by habits of thought, and by 
that awful sense of responsibility which rejects the impulses of 
enthusiasm for the' guidance of a passionless judgment ; paying 
their highest political homage to Constitutional obligation as the 
basis of all faith between States, and the strongest bond of 
Federal Union, were summoned from our midst in startling suc- 

While we were paying the last offices to our own great dead, 
fell in his high place in the National Capitol, a son of New 
England^' born. to fortune, born to education and to the rarest 
culture of the rarest gifts ; endowed with genius, and courage, 
and a love of his race, which inspired a long and illustrious 
career that will keep his name in grateful memory so long as 
freedom is precious and slavery hateful to mankind. Viewing 
some of the great questions of their time from different points of 
observation and responsibility, yet seeking a- common end — the 
advancement of the best interests of the country and* the human 
i j race — each discharged his duty with a conscientiousness and 

♦Senator Charles Sumner. 




patriotism worthy the Golden Age of the Republic. This sad 
time is not without its lessons, and to those who deprecate the 
injustice of partisan controversy, not without its consolations. 

You have devolved upon me the office of preparing a sketch 
of the life and character of Judge Hall. Happily he has left a 
brief autobiography of his early years, designed for his family 
only, but which I have been kindly permitted to consult for the 
purposes of this paper. 

Nathan Kelsey Hall was born in Marcellus, Onondaga 
County, New York, March lo, 1810. His father, Ira Hall, son 
of Doctor Jonathan Hall, a practicing physician of that town, 
resided with Nathan Kelsey at the time of his son's birth. Of 
Mr. Kelsey, Judge Hall speaks as "a substantial farmer in the 
best sense of the term, a man of strong mind and excellent judg- 
ment, unswerving integrity and wise benevolence." In the 
family of Mr. Kelsey young Nathan lived until' about 16 years 
of age, and was to them as a son. The autobiography to which 
I have referred, speaks of his relation to Mr. and Mrs. Kelsey in 
terms of filial affection. They manifested the deepest interest 
in his welfare and watched his career with satisfaction and pride. 
His educational advantages were such as were afforded by the 
district school, in which he was thoroughly instructed in the 
primary elements of our English education. His teacher for 
several winters was the late Moulton Farnham, Esq., of Attica, 
an excellent lawyer and estimable gentleman. When not in 
school he assisted on the farm in the usual occupations of a farm- 
ing lad. 

In 1818 Mr. Hall's father moved into Erie County, settling 
permanently in Wales, where he followed his trade and kept up a 
small farm. In 1826 young Hall took his adieu of the Kelseys 
and went to live with his father. Says the sketch, narrating this 
part of his history, "I parted from Mr. Kelsey, tears streaming 
from the eyes of both of us, and was soon on my way to the 
West." He was for a few weeks, after rejoining his father's 
family, a clerk in the store -of^ Alba Blodgell, in Alexander, 
Genesee County. His fafher was a* leather and shoe manufac- 
turer, and Judge Hall makes a playful reference to his own 
attempts in those arts. '' After my return from Alexander," he 


writes, *' I remained for a time at Wales working part of the 
time in a sugar orchard and the residue in the shoe shop, where 
I soon learned to tap coarse shoes and boots in a very coarse 
way. I believe I even succeeded in making a pair of small and 
very coarse shoes. Still I can boast of no great success as a son 
of St. Crispin, and when I left the shop there was no very serious 
violation of the good old adage, ' Let the shoemaker stick to his 

Efforts were at this time made to secure him a situation in a 
store at Aurora. They failed, and then application was made to 
Millard Fillmore, at that time a practicing lawyer at Aurora, to 
take him as a student in his office. Here was the turning-point 
in young Hall's life. The failure to secure a merchant's clerk- 
ship gave the nation the statesman and jurist. Mr. Hall gives 
the following account of his entrance upon his new vocation, 
and of his occupation and early struggles : 

On the first day of May, 1826, I left the tan-yard and the shoe shop for 
the law office. Mr. Fillmore had a small office, a well selected law library of 
about one hundred and fifty volumes, and a village library of about one hun- 
dred and fifty volumes was kept in his office, he being the librarian. Mr. 
Fillmore was then 26 years old and not yet admitted to the Supreme Court. 
His business was small, and when not employed in writing I spent my time 
in reading very assiduously such law hooks as he directed and such miscella- 
neous books from the village library as his or my judgment approved. In this 
way I spent six months in his office, and then took a district school about three 
miles from my father's and taught it for three months at ^ii per month, 
probably as much as my services were worth. At the end of the school term 
I returned to Mr. Fillmore's office, a wiser, if not a better youth, and again 
entered upon rny legal studies. I continued my studies with great assiduity, 
being sometimes employed as surveyor by private persons and by the Com- 
missioners of Highways at $1.50 and $2.00 per day. Mr. Fillmore was glad 
to render the same services for the Commissioners of Highways and citizens of 

Who could cast the horoscope on that eventful first of May 
and foretell the fortunes of those two, both poor, both unknown 
and unpatronized, neither with any dream that the future had 
anything for them beyond honorable, independent and com- 
paratively obscure lives. The one but d: few yeafs out of his 
apprenticeship to an honorable and useful trade, and the other 
from the farm and shop, and there beginning an association 



which should stretch out through almost half a century, cul- 
minating in a mutual friendship that knew no waning, and bear- 
ing them together to the highest seats of power and honor. 
Viewed in the light of their career and of the sad pageants of 
this month of March, that morning scene is most suggestive. 

I find in a memorandum book which young Hall opened on 
the day he entered Mr. Fillmore's office the following entry : 

Clerk and student at law in M. Fillmore's office, Aurora. Motto — In- 
tegrity, industry and perseverance, will lead to honor, riches and universal 

July 4, 1829. N.K.HALL. 

This motto is repeated and so emphasized on another page. 
It is worthy of Franklin, and furnished the key-note of his after 
life. In the sense in which he used the term " riches" — inde- 
pendence — his life was an illustration of his motto. 

Mr. Hall continued with Mr. Fillmore in Aurora, teaching 
school winters, surveying as opportunity offered, and so con- 
tinued until July, 1831, when he entered the office of the Hol- 
land Land Company as clerk under the late Col. Ira A. Blossom, 
the local agent. He remained in this new relation thirteen 
months, still keeping up his legal studies during leisure hours. 
Of Col. Blossom he speaks in grateful terms as one of his warm- 
est friends. On the 15th of November, 1832, Mr. Fillmore 
invited him to a partnership, Mr. Hall having been admitted to 
the bar as attorney and solicitor the July preceding. 

With the formation of this partnership we find him fairly 
started on his professional career, fully equipped by character, 
by application to business and capacity for work, for all the suc- 
cess he could fairly win. He was soon selected for various local 
trusts. The list of his early official positions is a high eulogium 
on his character and qualifications. From 1830 to 1S40 ho held 
at some time the following offices : 

Deputy Clerk of Erie County ; Commissioner of Deeds for 
Buffalo; Clerk of Board of Supervisors ; City Attorney in 1S33; 
Chairman of Board of Supervisors; Master in Chancery, 1S40; 
Taxing ^Llste^ of Eighth Council; Alderman of Fifth Ward of 
Buffalo, 1S37-3S; and Major and Judge Advocate of Fourth 


In the year 1839, Mr. Hall, having been appointed by Gover- 
ncr Reward, Master in Chancery, formed a partnership with O. H. 
M^a-rshall, Esg., which continued one year. In 1842 he formed 
a "iuirtiiership with Dennis Bowen, Esq., which was dissolved in 
I t-c. But previously to these later relations, and on the loth 
of January, 1836, was formed that professional Triumvirate 
wh:ch has become historic, and which was destined to a control- 
\zv2 interest both in the State and Nation. The law firm of 
Fi-lmore, Hall & Haven was then organized, Mr. Fillmore 
be::ig just thirty-six years of age, Mr. Hall twenty-eight, and 
Mr. Haven about twenty-six. I doubt if the history of the 
comir)- affords a parallel instance of three young men so 
a.- s: ci2.:ed professionally, with none of those aids which estab- 
liihrd family position, or wealth, or liberal education are sup- 
posed to give, attaining severally such professional and political 
emii-ence, and that without jealousy of each other, and with the 
mc-:: perfect loyalty to their mutual friendship. Each brought 
to :he common stock talents peculiarly his own, and all were 
able lawyers. 

Will you permit me to linger a moment over the memory of 
Mr. Haven. He was unquestionably one of the most rarely 
en i: wed men we have ever had among us. As a nisi prius 
la-K-vcr Western New York had not his superior. He had no 
el:-: -tnce, never carried juries by the storm of passion or the 
Ei:^--rt:c power of what we call genius. But somehow he carried 
tbcm- He was simple, but clear and direct in presenting a and no man found readier access to the understandings 
ani «;.-T.iT.athies of the formidable twelve men. He was always 
cc'ib never betrayed into confessed surprise, was full of 
res: -rces, and went through a trial with the tone and air of a 
m:-5".tr. Common sense, good nature, a ready wit, a bright 
in:tlle<:t, a winning address, were the great elements of his 
po -tr over a jury. In a political canvass the same characteristics 
m^be him the most popular of men before an audience. His 
plt-i-smrrv ahvavs amused, while his lo^ic convinced, and his 
un:-: "inded good humor made him a universal favorite. During 
the s.x years he was in Congress, he was one of tlie most useful 



of its members. Mr.Washburne, our present Minister to France,-^ 
who was in Congress with him, but not always in pob'tical 
sympathy, told me that on other than purely party questions Mr. 
Haven was the most influential member of the body. Every 
member knew that he brought integrity and intelligence to the 
study of every question of public interest before the House, and 
that it was safe to follow his lead. He died in the maturity of 
his powers, too early for his many friends, too early for the 
country he could serve so well. Remembering the associated 
and distinguished careers of those three men, there is a touching 
pathos in their last repose, side by side, in our city of the dead. 

Judge Hall brought to his profession perfect conscientious- 
ness, great industry, dispatch of business in hand, a clear, 
analytical mind, in short, every element which goes to make a 
complete office lawyer and a safe counselor. He was an 
admirable commercial lawyer. This was clearly revealed to the 
public when in 1842 he was appointed first Judge of the old 
Court of Common Pleas of Erie County. Before his advent to 
the Bench of that Court it had no standing as a commercial 
Court. But during Judge Hall's term of service it was 
acknowledged to rank among the foremost of the State. But it 
was as an equity lawyer that he was pre-eminent. His nice 
sense of justice, his patience in investigation, and his love of 
those broad principles of equity which are the basis of all just 
dealing between men, his ready sympathy with cestui que trusts, 
who as widows, or as orphans and infants, held relations of 
dependence upon trustees, all inclined him to make equity 
jurisprudence his specialty as a lawyer. When he left the 
profession to take a place in Mr. Fillmore's Cabinet, his 
reputation as an equity lawyer was second to that of no man in 
Western New York. And there can be no doubt had he con- 
tinuecl the practice of his i)rofession he would have achieved 
great distinction in his favorite branch of legal study, and reaped 
the just reward of his diligence and learning. 

The character of his mind was rather analytical than creative. 
He had no warmth of imagination* no fervid fancy. He had a 
thorough knowledge of legal principles, and that integrity of mind 

♦Resigned in 1877, died Oct. 22, 18S7.— Ed. 





which not only never imposed upon others, but did not permit him 
to impose upon himself. He had a calm temperament, a habit 
of patient investigation, a sound judgment, a ready application of 
legal principles to the case in hand. How highly these charac- 
teristics were appreciated by his professional brethren appeared 
in his popularity as a referee while he was in the profession. 
I think it safe to say that no Buffalo lawyer at the time I refer to 
was so frequently chosen to act as referee in important cases. 

In August, 1852, Judge Hall was appointed by President 
Fillmore, United States District Judge of the Northern District 
of New York. This office he held for nearly twenty-two years, 
discharging its duties with a fidelity and ability which rank him 
among the most laborious, useful and upright of the Federal 
judiciary. He entered upon the office at a new era in its rela- 
tions to our inland commerce. The business upon the lakes had 
within a few years very largely increased, giving rise to much 
litigation to be settled by the principles of marine law. It had 
then recently been decided by the Supreme Court of the United 
States that our inland lakes were within its admiralty jurisdiction. 
This threw upon Judge Hall's court a large amount of litigation 
involving principles and practice peculiar to admiralty law. 
This was an entirely new field to him, and he entered upon it as 
a student with a diligence and zeal which made him master of 
that branch of the law. I have been told that when first invited 
to hold a term of the District Court in New York, there were 
several important admiralty cases on the calendar which counsel 
were disposed to put over the term, feeling that an inland judge 
could know little law governing cases connected with ocean , 
commerce. But on the trial of one or two such cases before 
him, the profession were surprised by his profound knowledge of 
the principles of the admiralty law, and he was ever after one of 
the most popular judges called to preside at the New York 
Circuit. His selection was always hailed as a happy fortune for 
the bar and for suitors. His new career as judge imposed upon 
him the necessity of studying another and very difficult branch 
of law — that of patents, an exclusive specialty even among 
lawyers. He thoroughly mastered it and his opinion became 
high authority. The complicated system of our revenue laws 


imposed upon him fresh labor, and to no judge is the country 
more indebted than to hirn :'or a j^ist interpretation and enforce- 
ment of the revenue laws. After the pa^sage of the present 
bankrupt law his court was l::erai'y overwhelmed with questions 
requiring discrimination, j ucgrnent and learning to solve. With 
the enormous labors of th; co:rt before this fresh draft upon his 
energies, it is easy to see that the settlement before him of sev- 
eral thousand bankrupt cavr:^ "during the last few years, some 
involving millions of dollars and the rights of hundreds of 
creditors, demanded a strength of body herculean and of mind 
adequate to every exigency. As an interpreter of the bankrupt 
law he became an authority. He placed no limit to his labors 
either in mastering the lav.- or in arriving at an equitable settle- 
ment among conflicting cre^'jitors of bankrupt estates. Here was 
the weight that broke hirn down. He undoubtedly bestowed 
more labor on his cases than duty required. He did not know- 
how to work easily, he only knew to do the utmost that could 
be done, to exhaust every subject presented to his review, to sift 
to the bottom every com]/jir^.tion of facts, and to leave a case 
submitted only when he had mastered it to the last detail. He 
was always in harness, and scarce knew what recreation was. 
Very few of Judge Hali's decisions were finally reversed. The 
only criticism I ever heard made upon his method in the trial of 
cases before him, was to ih': effect that in taking testimony and 
weighing it he failed to duly discriminate between honest and 
dishonest witnesses. It w;j.s accompanied by this explanation, 
that the Judge was so honest himself that he did not readily sus- 
pect dishonesty in others. However this may have been, the 
fact that on review his decisions were so generally sustained, is 
sufficient proof that suitors -.vent out of his court with substantial 
justice so far as he was called to administer it. I do not know 
how I can better supplemerit what I have said than by quotini: 
some of the expressions marj^- before Judi^e Blatchtbrd's Court in 
the Southern District, as I ilnd them reported in the New York 
papers. Hon. E. W. Stoi:;?liton, the eminent counselor of New 
York, the day after Jufil^^e Hall's •decease, moved the adjourn- 
ment of the Court out of respect to his memory, and in the 
course of his address said as ff>llows : 



Judge Hall entered upon the discharge of his duties with a high sense of 
sacred obligation imposed upon him. He has often presided in this District, 
both in the Circuit and District Courts. During almost his entire judicial life 
it has been my good fortune to know him well and to enjoy, as I believe, his 
confidence and friendship. I have been often before him in the trial and argu- 
ment of cases, some of which were of great length and difficulty. His efforts 
thoroughly to understand the most complicated were ever persistent and 
laborious. He rarely conceived and rarely expressed at an early stage of any 
cause impressions for or against either side. He was slow to arrive at con- 
clusions, and seldom did so until he had most carefully investigated and delib- 
erated upon the questions to be determined. His love of justice, his desire to 
do justice, impelled him oftentimes to the performance of judicial labor of the 
most painful and minute character, and he brought to his aid in this stores of 
exact legal learning, the accumulations of many well spent years. He heard 
counsel with patience, and ever treated them with courtesy and kindness. 
His judicial life has been pure and spotless, and to his labors and his example 
the Bar, the public and even the Bench are greatly indebted. A more satis- 
factory life to him, one which could more completely gratify the pride and the 
honest ambition of the widow and descendants who mourn his loss, cannot 
well be imagined. He had occupied high places in the State and on the 
Bench, without having sought or secured them by unworthy means, and he has 
ever so discharged his high and responsible trusts as to merit the approval and 
the applause of the best among his fellow-men. He was a worthy associate 
upon the bench of that great judge whose loss we still sincerely mourn. 
(Nelson), and whom, after a few months of separation, he has gone from us to join . 

If Judge Hall does not rank among the few great judges who 
have established the principles of law and equity as applicable to 
trade and commerce, or who have interpreted the fundamental 
law and defined the limitations of State and Federal authority, 
there can be no doubt of his place in our judicial history as one 
of the rhost upright, laborious and adequate judges that have 
ever honored the American Bench. 

One characteristic of Judge Hall, in times of popular excite- 
ment, provoked some criticism. He had as profound a rever- 
ence for law and constitutional right and authority as it is possi- 
ble for man to pay them. Living law to him was the highest 
representative of the Divine on earth. And whether in peace or 
war, whether it involved the rights of person? oj the Government, 
it was to be enforced without fear or favor. Sa/us /t\i^is suprema 
lex appeared to him the safer maxim than the salus poptili. He 
saw no safety for the citizen in irresponsible authority. His 


judgment might have been always right, or sometimes wrong, in 
his vindication of the inviolability of the law. But one thing is 
certain, that for the rights of persons as maintained today in 
England and in our own country, we are indebted to judges of 
the stamp of Judge Hall ; men who could go to the Tower or 
the block with heart and cheek unblenched, but who would not 
deny the protection of the law to the poorest subject, the 
humblest citizen, against Commons or Kings. Judicial inde- 
pendence under the sanctions of an honest nature a democracy 
can not afford to undervalue, and this element, so needful for 
the protection of the citizen in times of civil commotion and 
alarm, was pre-eminent in Judge Hall. Herein was the moral 
grandeur of his character. Underneath that modest mien and 
unaffected simplicity was the latent element of power, which, on 
occasion, could rise to the sublime of judicial assertion. With- 
out this quality a man may be a learned judge, but in the high- 
est sense he can not be a great one. 

Judge Hall had a short legislative career, having been elected 
a member of Assembly in November 1845, ^^^ ^ member of 
Congress in 1846. He declined a re-election to Congress. He 
took high rank in both bodies as a capable and useful legislator. 
He was distinguished for his intelligent labor in committee, and for 
his attention to the general business before the House. At the close 
of his Congressional term he returned to his profession from 
which he was called to yet more responsible relations in the 

The death of General Taylor brought Mr. Fillmore to the 
Presidential office, and in forming his Cabinet he called Judge 
Hall to the office of Postmaster-General. He was fully in 
sympathy with the President upon all the great questions and 
measures of the time, but his own immediate responsibility be- 
gan and ended with his own Department. He held the office ot 
Postmaster-General from July 3, 1850, to September 13,* 1S5J. 
and in September, 1851, was for a short time acting Secretar\ ot 
the Interior. To his Cabinet office he brought the same zeal, 
energy, judgment and fidelity which* had distinguished his pro- 
fessional and official life. As a Cabinet officer he took high rank 
and was especially valued by his colleague, Mr. Webster. There 





are two classes of statesmen : The one represents the doctrinaire 
and innovator, who is sometimes Utopian and sometimes wisely 
in advance of his time. Another class has little sympathy with 
experiments, and prefers to stand by the established order so 
long as it seems to work substantial justice. Judge Hall was a 
representative of the latter class. He was no doctrinaire, and he 
was slow to accept new theories until his judgment told him it 
was time for the old to die; he was a conservative statesman, and 
gave to that school his cordial, because his honest, co-operation.^ 

The bare enumeration of his official trusts shows how abso- 
lutely he was the servant of the public. Many of them in the 
earlier part of his career were humble offices, sought undoubtedly, 
for the aid they would give him in his struggles, but the duties 
of each and all were asfaithfuUy discharged as were those of the 
highest dignity and responsibility. It was this proved adequacy 
and tried fidelity that secured him the most absolute public con- 
fidence, and made easy and natural his advancement to the high- 
ests trusts under the Government. And it was well said at the 
meeting of the Bar, that this was the crucial test and that his 
character had come out of it as solid gold. His integrity was 
almost of a romantic type — no importunity of friendship, no 
precedents of favoritism could ever bend him from the most 
inflexible observance of his rule of duty. This was illustrated 
when he was Postmaster-General in his award of contracts for 
printmg and mail services, when he never knew any difference 
between friends and foes and had no eyes for anything but the 
most advantageous offers for the Government. 

The many offices held by Judge Hall, having more or less 
emolument, never enriched him, while the greater portion of his 
official life, and from which the public reaped the largest advan- 
tage was, measured by the value and amount of services rendered, 
pecuniarily unrecompensed. His judgeship did not yield a sup- 
port, to say nothing of its dignity, which is something so long as 
a worthy man holds the office. 

But Judge Hall did his full share of service in founding and 
maintaining those institutions of education and charity, which 
are the best exponents of our social spirit. As early as 1837, 

♦See " The Postal Service of the United States," by Mr. Hall, this vol., p. 299.— Ed. 


when in the City Common Council., he was Chairman of the 
School Committee, and in connection with O. G. Steele, Esq., 
then Superintendent of Schools, prepared the bill which revolu- 
tionized the former system and prepared the way for the present 
systems of our public schools.* He was for many years Presi- 
dent of the Buffalo Female Academy, and was at the time of his 
death one of the trustees of the Wells Seminary at Aurora, 
Cayuga County. He was also President of the Board of Trus- 
tees of the State Normal School in Buffalo. He was one of the 
trustees of the Ketchum Memorial Fund. He was one of the 
founders and Presidents of this Society, in which he always took 
a deep interest. In short, he lived and died in the public ser- 
vice, shrinking from no labor imposed, discharging every duty as 
a citizen with scrupulous fidelity and honor. 

In every private and domestic relation his life was beautiful. 
His autobiography has an almost religious tone of gratitude to 
his father's house, and to the early home that gave his childhood 
protection and love. He was a fond kinsman, and a wide circle 
dwelt in the sunshine of his considerate and sacrificing nature. 
He practiced a liberal and unostentatious charity. He realized 
the ideal man of the Arabian poet: ''He delivered the poor 
that cried, and the fatherless and him that had none to help him. 
He put on righteousness and it clothed him, and his judgment 
was a robe and a diadem." 

He reverentially recognized the moral Providence of the world. 
He had a pure heart, which is the vision of God. His worship 
was neither a ceremony nor an asceticism. His organization 
required other methods of expression than these. In this con- 
nection I shall take the liberty to quote a single paragraph from 
his autobiography, sacredly personal as is its character: ''That 
much of mv success has been due to my own efforts, I feel 
bound to say in encouragement of those who shall come after me, 
while I admit with thankfulness and gratitude that much more 
has been due to the kindness of the Universal Father who cast 
my lines in pleasant places, and in the course of His benignant 
providence afforded me abun'dant and ^'et repeated opportunities 

*See "The BntTalo Common Schools," by Oliver G. Steele, Pub. Buf. Hist. Soc, 
Vol. I., page 405.— Kd. 


to put to profitable and yet honorable use the talents he had given 
me." But what can I say of Judge Hall as a man which has not 
already been expressed in every form of tribute which a public 
can i)ay to one it honors and reveres. Words almost fail us when 
we enter the domain of his private life and contemplate his 
character as it unfolded in the relations of friendship and home. 
He might have appeared stern and severe to those who knew him 
not, but to those who sought him he was sweet as summer. Who 
ever saw him ruffled, except in presence of some cruelty or 
wrong? What a benediction was in that friendly, beaming face ! 
Living without ostentation or display, yet with tasteful comfort, 
he was a princely host. "This house is yours," says the courteous 
Castilian ; **This house is yours," you read in our friend's 
greeting and hospitality. He was born for friendship and he 
abounded in those little offices of kindness which are among the 
sweetest solaces of life. He made our burthens lighter by his 
love, and we went from his presence with fresh courage and 
renewed strength for life's weary march. 

He had a large nature, full of truth, lo}alty and honor. 
His word had the sanctity of religion, it was a pillar of constancy. 
His public career was pure as his private life. All the elective 
offices he ever held were bestowed, not purchased. If modern 
politics are in the least degenerated, he did nothing to degrade 
them. He never offered bribes, he never debauched a constit- 
uency. He never solicited offices with votes in one hand and 
mon«^y in the other. He was fond of place, but no ambition ever 
led him 'to sacrifice his manhood. He never dragged his robes 
in the mire or sullied those of other men. He was ever pure, 
self-resjK^cting. He was no flatterer of the people — he had no 
arts, no strategy — his capital was his character. He was a 
gentleman of the old-time school, a type of a class rapidly passing 
away. Science teaches us that the different geological periods 
have fiirnished each distinct formation and species of vegetable 
and animal life, the new ever superseding the old. Our modern 
society seems to have a somewhat analogous experience. This 
period of unrest, of concentration of capital and energy in 
great centers of population, of material devlopment and the new 
paths it oi)ens for personal distinction, will give us types of 


commanding energy and force, but without the calm, the dignity 
and silent power of the old school. 

Judge Hall married on the i6th day of November, 1832. 
Miss Emily Paine, of Aurora. Five children were born to him, 
of whom but one survives — Mrs. Josiah Jewett of this city. 

For several years previous to his death his constitution gave 
repeated signs of giving way before the severe labors of his office. 
On the week previous to his death he had been in daily attendance 
upon his official duties. On Sunday, March ist,he did not feel 
as well as usual and kept in bed. I saw him at seven o'clock in 
the evening, when he was cheerful and hopeful, with no appear- 
ance of extreme illness. He fell asleep at the usual hour and 
about four o'clock in the morning, after a slight spasm, he died. 
And so he pass'ed forever from the scenes of time. 



Of the United States in Connection with the Local 
History of Buffalo. 



No very satisfactory account of the origin and progress of 
the Postal Service of the country, in its more immediate 
connection with the local history of Buffalo, can now be 
compiled. The early records of the transportation service of 
the Post-Office Department, were originally meager and 
imperfect ; and many of the books and papers of the Depart- 
ment, prior to 1837, were destroyed or lost when the public 
edifices at Washington were burned in 181 4, and also when the 
building in which the Department was kept was destroyed by fire, 
in December, 1836. For these reasons the Hon. A. N. Zevely, 
Third Assistant Postmaster-General — who has kindly furnished 
extracts from the records and- papers of the Department — has 
been able to afford but little information in respect to the early 
transportation of the mails in the western part of this State. 
Indeed, no information in respect to that service, prior to 1814, 
could be given; no route-books of older date than 1820 are 
now in the Department, and those from 1820 to 1835 are not 
so arranged as to show the running time on the several routes. 

The records of the Appointment Office, and those of the 
Auditor's Office of the Department, are- more fulkand perfect; 
and from these, and from various other sources of information, 

*t Respectively Postmaster-General and Postmaster of ButTalo.— Ed. 



much that is deemed entirely reliable and not wholly 
uninteresting has been obtained. 

Erastus Granger was the first Postmaster of Buffalo — or rather 
of "Buffalo Creek," the original name of the office. He was 
appointed on the first establishment of the office, September 30, 
1804. At that time the nearest post-offices were at Batavia on 
the east, Erie on the west, and Niagara on the north. Mr. 
Granger was a second cousin of Hon. Gideon Granger, the 
fourth Postmaster-General of the United States, who held that 
office from 1801 to 181 4. 

The successors of our first Postmaster, and the dates of their 
respective appointments, appear in the following statement: 

Julius Guiteau, May 6, 1818. 

Samuel Russel, 
Henry P. Russell, 
Orange H. Dibble, . 
Philip Dorsheimer, 
Charles C. Haddock, 
Philip Dorsheimer, 
Henry K. Smith, 
Isaac R. Harrington, 
James O. Putnam, 
James G. Dickie, . 

April 25, 1831. 

. July 26, 1834. 

, August 28, 1834. 

. June 8, 1838. 

October 12, 1841. 

. April I, 1845. 

. August 14, 1846. 

May 17, 1849. 

September i, 1851. 

. May 4, 1853. 

Israel T. Hatch, . . . November 11, 1859. 

Almon M.Clai)p,(thc present incumbent*) March 27, 1S61. 

The Buffalo Post-office was the only post-office within the 
present limits of the city until January, 181 7, when a post-office 
was established at Black Rock. The appointments of Post- 
masters at Black Rock have been as follows : 

James L. Barton, .... January 29, 1817. 

Elisha H. Burnham, . . . . July 11, 1S2S. 

Morgan G. Lewis, .... June 29, 1841. 

George Johnson, .... July 7, 1^553. 

Daniel Hibbard, (tlic present incumbent) June i, 1S61. 

♦Succeeded in 1866 by Joseph Caiideeudied Nov. 20, 1SS4) ; succeediutr Postm.isiers 
of Buffalo have been: Isa:\c M. Schernierhon^: Thomas M. Blossom (.appoinltd in 
1S69, died F"eb. 10, 1SS2) ; Isaac M. Schermerhorn ^second appointment, April, 1*^71 ' ; 
John M. Bedford (appointed April i, 1S79) ; John B. Sackell ^appointed Marcii 7, 
1887); Bernard F. Gentsch (.ipi>()i.utcd May 28. iS^x), died Aui;. 3, 1894); Howard \\ 
Baker (appointed June 7, iS>)4), ptcscnt incumbent. — Eu. 



In July, 1854, the Post-office of Black Rock Dam, now 
called North Buffalo, was established. The name of the office 
was changed to North Buffalo, February 10, 1857. The appoint- 
ments to that office have been as follows : 

Henry A. Bennett, .... July 12, 1854. 

Charles Manly, . . . . March 17, 1856. 

George Argus, May 20, 1859. 

William D. Davis, .... July 29, 1861. 

George Argus, (the present incumbent) . . 1864. 

The Buffalo Post-office was kept, during Mr. Granger's term 
of office, first on Main Street, near where the Metropolitan 
Theater^ now stands, and afterwards in the brick house on the 
west side of Pearl Street, a few doors south of Swan Street, now 
No. 58 Pearl Street. Mr. Guiteau first kept the office on Main 
Street, opposite Stevenson's livery stable; then on the west side 
of Main Street about the middle of the block next south of Erie 
Street ; and afterwards on the northwest corner of Ellicott 
Square. It was kept in the same place for a short period at the 
commencement of Judge Russel's term of office, but was soon 
removed to the northwest corner of the next block above, where 
it remained until after the appointment of Mr. Dibble. It was 
removed by Mr. Dibble about 1836, to the old Baptist Church 
then standing on the corner where the^ost-office is now kept, 
and it was kept in that building until after Mr. Haddock took 
the office. He removed the office to the northwest corner of 
Main and Seneca Streets, where it remained until it was removed, 
in August, 1S58, into the Government building in which it is now. 

The gross receipts of the post-office at Buffalo, for the years 
given in the following table, have been as follows : 


% 90S3 


$ 2,840.60 


























Imperfect returns. 










" 48,^38-53 



*Predectrssor of the .\cademy ot Music, east side of Main, between Seneca and 
Swan Streets.— F-:d. 

t L-ast (juarter oniv. 

X Stamps sold for currency ;$iS,ooo more, furnished from Butlalo P. O. 


The gross receipts at the offices of Bl^ck Rock, Black Rock 
Dam and North Buffalo, for the years named have been as 
follows : 

At Black Rock: 


% 56.88 

1845 ^467.32 



1850 776.62 



1855 420.24 



i860 317.74 



1862 389.50 



1863 461.52 



1864 > 234.52 
to July I. / 



At Black Rock Dam 

(JVorl/i Buffalo) : 


$ 108.47 

1862 $463.27 



1863 650.73 



1864 > 319.75 
to July I. 



■ The aggregate amount of the postage received at the different 
post-offices must always depend, in a greater or less degree, upon 
the extent and frequency of the mail transportation by which 
such offices are supplied, and the rates of postage charged, as 
well as upon the number, education, character and occupation of 
the population within the delivery of such offices. Other 
causes, some of th'^ local or temporary, may at times affect the 
revenue of an office, but only the population of the neighbor- 
hood, the frequency and extent of the transportation service. 
and the general rates of letter [jostage, will be here considered. 

The first census under the authority of the United States was 
taken in 1790; probably in July and August of that year. In 
that portion of New York lying west of the old Massachusetts 
preemption line it was taken by General Amos Hall, as Deputy 
Marshal, and an abstract of his list or census-roll is given in 
Turner's '' History of Phelps and Gorham's Purchase." The 
number of heads of families then residing west of Genesee River, 
and named in that list, was 24: but it is probable that. the dej)- 
uty marshal did not visit this locality, as neither Winney tlie 
Indian trader, nor Johnston the Indian agent and interpreter, 
is named ; although it -is probable that both of them resided 
here. Winney, it is quite certain, was here in 1791, and it is 
supposed came about 1784. 


The whole population west of the Massachusetts preemption 
line, which was a line drawn due north and south across the 
State, passing through Seneca Lake and about two miles east of 
Geneva, as given by Turner from General Hall's census-roll, was 
1,084, as follows: males, 728; females, 340 ; free blacks, 7; 
slaves, 9. In the State census report of 1853, the population of 
Ontario County in 1790 (which county then embraced all that 
territory) is stated at 1,075. The difference between the two 
statements is caused by the omission of the slaves from the latter 
statement. In 1800 the population of the same territory (then 
the Counties of Ontario and Steuben) was 15,359 free persons 
and 79 slaves. 

In 1808 the County of Niagara (embracing the present 
counties of Niagara and Erie) was organized, and its population 
in 1810 was 6,132. Of these 1,465 were inhabitants of the 
present County of Niagara, and 4,667 of the present County of 
Erie. There were then in the county 8 slaves, which number 
should probably be added to the aggregate above stated. 

In 1820 the population of Niagara County was 18,156, of 
which 10,834 were inhabitants of the present County of Erie. 
There were then 15 slaves in the whole County of Niagara. 

In i82i,'5he County of Erie was organized with its present 
boundaries. Its population at each census since has been as 
follows, viz: 1825, 24,316; 1830, 35,7195 1835, 57,594; 1840, 
62,465; 1845, 78,635; 1850, 100,993; 1855, 132,331; and 
i860, 141,791. 

It is probable that in 1790, Winney and Johnston were the 
only white residents upon the territory now embraced within our 
city limits. In 1796, there were but four buildings in all that 
territory — as stated by the late Joseph Landon. In 1S07, there 
were about a dozen houses. This number, it is said, had in- 
creased to more than 200 houses, when, on the 31st of Decem- 
ber, 1813, the village was burned by the British and Indians ; — 
only the house of Mrs. St. John, Reese's blacksmith shop, the 
gaol, and the uncovered frame of a barn escaping the general 
conflagration. " * 

The white population of the territory now comprised in our 
city limits did not, in 1800, probably exceed 25. The earliest 



census report which gives any information in regard to its pop- 
ulation is that of 1810 when the population was 1,508. It was 
1,060 in 1814; 2,095 ^^ 1820; 5,141 in 1825 ; 8,668 in 1830; 
21,838 in 1840; 34>6o6 in 1845; 49>769 in 1850; 74,214 in 
1855 ; and 81,129 in i860. It is believed that it is now about 

But little reliable information in regard to the transportation 
of the mails west of Albany from 1800 to 1824, can now be 
obtained ; and as the transportation service and the origin and 
progress of the system of posts, by which, even now, much q{ 
this transportation service is performed, are believed to be the 
most interesting of the topics of the present paper (as that service 
itself is the most essential of those connected with the Post-office 
establishment),. it has been deemed proper to refer to the prob- 
able origin of that system ; — a system which in its continued 
extension and constant improvement, has grown into the Post- 
office establishment of the present day. These are now, almost 
universally under the control of the State or sovereign power, 
and they are certainly among the most important and beneficent 
of the institutions of civil government. 

It is said that the Assyrian and Persian monarchs had their 
posts, at a day's journey from each other, with horses saddled, 
ready to carry with the utmost dispatch, the decrees of these 
despotic rulers. In the Roman Em[)ire, couriers on swift horses 
carried the imperial edicts to every province. Ciiarlcmagne. it 
is said, established stations for carriers who delivered the letters 
and decrees of the court in the different and distant parts of his 
dominions; As early as the Xlth Century the University of 
Paris had a body of pedestrian messengers, to carry letters and 
packets from its thousands of students to various parts of Europe, 
and to bring money, letters and packets in return. Posts tor 
the transmission of Government messages were established in 
England in the Xlllth Century, and in 1464 Louis XI. estab- 
lished a system of mounted posts, stationed four French miles 
apart, to carry the dispatches of the Government. 

Government posts, as the convenience and interest of the 
people at large began to receive some attention from their rulers, 
were at times allowed to carry private letters, and private posts 



for the transmission of general correspondence were sometimes 
established. This was at first but an irregular and uncertain 
service, without fixed compensation ; but considerable regularity, 
order and system were the results of the public appreciation of 
their convenience, and of the gradual improvements which fol- 
lowed their more general employment. 

In 1524 the French posts — which had previously carried only 
the letters of the King and nobles — were first permitted to carry 
other letters ; and in 1543 Charles V., Emperor of Germany, 
established a riding post throughout his dominions. It was not 
until the reign of James I. that a system of postal communication 
was established in England, although Edward IV., in 1481, had 
established posts twenty miles apart, with riders, to bring the 
earliest intelligence of the events of the Avar with the Scots. It 
was not until about 1644 that a weekly conveyance of letters, by 
post, was established throughout that kingdom. Mail coaches 
w^ere first used at Bristol, in England, in 1784. They were 
placed on the post routes in 1785, and their use became general 
throughout England. 

The mail service of North America, which in its magnitude 
and regi^larity, and in the extension of its benefits to every settle- 
ment an*d fireside, has, it is believed, no superior, probably had 
its beginning in private enterprise ; although perhaps sanctioned 
at the very outset, by local authority. 

As early as 1677 Mr. John Hay ward, ^.rivener, of Boston, 
Mass., was appointed by the General Court to take in and con- 
vey letters according to their direction. This was probably the 
first post-offtce and mail service authorized in America. Other 
local arrangements, necessarily very imperfect in their charac- 
ter, were made in different colonies soon after ; some of them 
having the sanction of Colonial Governors or Legislatures. 

Thomas Dongan, the Governor of New York under the Duke 
of York, in a letter to the Duke's secretary, dated February iS, 
1684, says : 

You are pleased to say I may set up a post-house, but seinf me noe power 
to do it. I never intended it should be expensive to His Royal Highness. It 
was desired by the neighboring colonies, and is at present practiced in some 
places by foot messengers. 


In the same letter Gov. Dongan says he will endeavor to 
establish a post-office in Connecticut and at Boston. Under 
date of August 27, 1684, Sir John Werden, the Duke's secretary, 
wrote to Gov. Dongan : 

As for setting up post-houses along the coast from Carolina to Nova 
Scotia it seems a very reasonable thing, and you may offer the privilege 
thereof to any undertakers for ye space of 3 or 5 years, by way of farm ; 
reserving wt part of ye profit you think fit to the Duke. 

At least as early as January, 1690, there was what was called 
a public post between Boston and New York, and in 1691 there 
was a post of some kind from New York to Virginia, and from 
New York to Albany. This was during the war with the French, 
and these posts were probably - established by the military 

On the 4th of April, 1692, Thomas Neele, having obtained a 
patent to establish post-offices throughout the American colonies, 
appointed Andrew Hamilton (afterwards Governor of New Jer- 
sey), his deputy for all the plantations. Mr. Deputy Hamilton 
brought the subject before Gov. Fletcher and the New York 
Colonial Assembly in October following, and an Act was imme- 
diately passed '' for encouraging a post-office." 

In 1705 Lord Cornbury, the Governor of New York, in- 
formed the Lords of Trade of the passage by the New York 
Assembly of *'an Act for enforcing and continuing a post- 
office," which he recommended His Majesty to confirm '*as an 
act of necessity," without which the post to Boston and Phila- 
delphia would be lost. 

In 1 710 the British Parliament passed an Act authorizing ilie 
British Postmaster-General '" to keep one chief letter-office in 
New York and other chief letter-offices in each of His Majesty's 
Provinces or Colonies in America. ' ' Deputy Postmasters-General 
for North America were afterwards, and from time to time, 
appointed by the British Postmaster-General in England. • Dr. 
Franklin was appointed to that office in 1755, and it is said that 
in 1760 he startled the people 'of^tlie colonies by proposing to 
run a "stage waggon " froni Boston to*Philadelphia oncea week. 
starting for each city on Monday morning and reaching the other 
by Saturday. In 1763 he spent five months in traveling through 



the direction of the Postmaster-General, from Falmouth, in New 
England, to Savannah, in Georgia. Dr. Franklin was then 
unanimously chosen Postmaster-General. The ledger in which 
he kept the accounts of his office is now in the Post-office 
Department. It is a half-bound book of rather more than fools- 
cap size, and about three-fourths of an inch thick, and many of 
the entries are in Dr. Franklin's own handwriting. Richard 
Bache succeeded Dr. Franklin November 7, 1776, and Mr. 
Bache was succeeded by Ebenezer Hazard. 

The Articles of Confederation, adopted in 1778, gave to the 
United States, in Congress assembled, " the sole and extensive 
right and power of establishing and regulating post-offices from 
one State to another"; but the increase of mail service was 
comparatively trifling until after the organization of the Post- 
office Department by the first Congress which assembled under 
the Constitution of the United States. This gave it efficiency 
and value, and provided for the early extension of its benefits 
to the inhabitants of the several States. 

The National Congress, organized under the Constitution, 
commenced its first session on the 4th of March, 1789, but it was 
not until September 22, 1790, that an Act was passed for estab- 
lishing, or rather continuing, the postal service. The Act then 
passed provided that a Postmaster-General should be appointed, 
and that the regulations of the Post-office should be the same as 
they last were under the resolutions and ordinances of the Con- 
gress of the'Confederation. 

In 1790 there were- but seventy-five post-offices and 1,875 
miles of post-roads in the United States, and the whole amount 
of postages received for that year was $37,935. The population 
of the United States, as shown by the census of that year, was 
only 3,929,827 ; and the whole mail service was pertbrmed uj'on 
our seaboard line, passing through the principal towns from Wis- 
cassett in Maine, to Savannah in Georgia, and upon a fe\V cro>s 
or intersecting lines, on many portions of which the mail was 
carried only once a fortnight.' ^ 

On the 3d of March, 1791, tlie Postmaster-General was 
authorized to extend the carr} ing of the mail from Albany to 
Bennington, Vermont. It is probable that the post-othce at 


Albany was a special office until late in that year, as in an offi- 
cial list of post-offices, with their receipts for the year ending 
October 5, 1791, New York is the only office in this State ; and 
by an official statement dated April 24, 1790, it appears that the 
contractot from Albany to New York received the postages for 
carrying the mail, and that that was the only mail service in this 
State north or west of New York City. 

It is stated in a " History of Oneida County" that the first 
mail to Utica was brought by Simeon Post in 1793, under an 
arrangement with the Post-office Department authorizing its 
transportation from Canajoharie to Whitestown at the expense 
of the inhabitants on the route; and that in 1793 or 1794, the 
remarkable fact that the Great Western Mail, on one arrival at 
Fort Schuyler (Utica), contained six letters for that place, was 
heralded from one end of the settlement to the other. It is 
added that some were incredulous, but the solemn and repeated 
assurances of the veracious Dutch postmaster at last obtained 
general credence. 

On the 8th of May, 1794, sundry post-routes were established, 
among <|hich is one " from Albany by Schenectady, Johnstown, 
Canajoharie and Whitestown, to Canandaigua"; and in July, 
1794, four-horse '* stages" were run from Albany to Schenec- 
tady daily. The passenger fare by these stages was only three 
cents per mile. 

On the 31st of July, 1794, the Postmaster-General, Timothy 
Pickering, advertised in the Albany Gazette for proposals for 
carrying the mails in this State, as follows : (i.) *'From New York 
by Peekskill, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Rhinebeck, Redhook, 
Clermont, Hudson and Kinderhook to Albany," to leave New 
York every Monday and Thursday at 4 p. m., and arrive at 
Albany on Wednesday and Saturday by 7 in the evening. 
(2.) "From Albany by Schenectady, Johnstown and Canajoharie 
to Whitestown," to leave Albany every Thursday at 10 a. m., 
and arrive at Whitestown on Saturday by 6 p. m. (3.) ** From 
Canajoharie through Cherry Valley to the Court House in 
Cooperstown," to leave every Friday at ij. p. m., atid arrive on 
Saturday by i p. m. (4.) *♦ From Whitestown to Canandaigua 
once in two weeks" ; to leave Whitestown every other Monday 



at 8 a. m., and arrive at Canandaigua the next Thursday by 2 
p. m. This advertisement bears date July 8, 1794. It does not 
state the mode of conveyance required. 

On the 3d of March, 1797, Congress established a post-road 
** from Kanandaigua in the State of New York, to Niagara." 
This route was run through Avon and LeRoy, and probably 
through Batavia, and thence on the north side of the Tona- 
wanda Creek, and through the present town of Lockport to 

In the '' History of Onondaga County " it is stated that a Mr. 
Langdon first carried the mail through that county on horseback 
from VVhitestown to Genesee in 1797 or 1798*; that he dis- 
tributed papers and unsealed letters by the way before inter- 
mediate offices were established ; that a Mr. Lucas succeeded Mr. 
Langdon in transporting the mail, which, in 1800, had become 
so heavy as to require a wagon to transport it that the first four- 
horse mail-coach was sent through in 1803; and that in 1S04 
Jason Parker ran a four-horse mail-coach twice a week from 
Utica to Canandaigua. From an advertisement at Canandaigua, 
copied by Turner, it appears that a mail-coach was that year run 
twice a week between Albany and Canandaigua. 

It is stated in Turner's "History of Phelps and Gorham's 
Purchase" (p. 174), that Luther Cole was the first to carry the 
mail from Whitestown to Canandaigija — on horseback when the 
roads would allow, but often on foot. The same history states 
that the mail-route from Canandaigua to Niagara was established 
''about 1798" (1797) and that the mail was carried through by 
Jasper Marvin — who sometimes dispensed with mail-bags and car- 
ried the mail in his pocket-book — and that he was six days in 
going and returning. The route, it is stated, was the usual or.e 
from Canandaigua to Buffalo and then down the river on tr.e 
Canada side, to Fort Niagara; but other, and it is believed more 
reliable authority states, that the mail at this tinie was carried 
through Cold Springs, in the ])resent town of Lockport, and did 
not pass through Buffalo Creek. 

♦Author's Note— This is probably erroneous as it will be seen that the post-ro: 
from Whitestown to Canandaitjua was establislied and service thereon advertised tor 
1794. It is quite certain that there was mail service on this route as early as 1705. 


The surveys upon the Holland Land Company's Purchase 
were commenced in the spring of 1798, and the first wagon track 
on the Purchase was opened that year. Before that time parties 
came through from Canandaigua on the old Indian Trail. In 
1802, Mr. Ellicott, the Holland Land Company's agent, pro- 
cured the establishment of a po6t-office at Batavia, and the 
appointment of James Brisbane as postmaster.^- 

In 1804 the Holland Land Company's survey of the inner 
lots of the present City of Buffalo was made, and on the 26th of 
March in that year Congress passed an .\ct in relation to post- 
routes which provides that the post-route from Canandaigua to 
Niagara shall pass by Buffalo Creek. From this it is clearly to 
be inferred that the mail to Niagara had been previously carried 
upon a different route, as above stated. 

In the Buffalo Directory of 1828 is the following statement: 

The first mail received here was in Marcli, 1S03, on horseback. It was con- 
veyed from the East once in two weeks, in this manner, until 1805. A weekly 
route was then established and continued until 1809. In i8lo the mode of 
conveyance was changed and a stage-wagon was used. 

Thi^! Statement is substantially repeated in several subsequent 
directories and is probably nearly correct-; although it will be 
recollected that the post-office at Buffalo was not established 
until September, 1804, and it appears by extracts from a Canan- 
daigua paper that a " stage road to Niagara " was advertised, in 
1808, to leave Canandaigua every Monday, at 6 o'clock a. m., 
and arrive at Niagara via Buffalo every Thursday at 3 a. m. 
These stages were run by John Metcalf, who, in .\pril, 1807, had 
obtained from the Legislature of this State a law giving him the 
exclusive right, for some years, of running stages from Canan- 
daigua to Buffalo, and imposing a fine of <{5oo on any other 
person running wagons on said route as a stage line. He was 
required to provide at least three wagons and three stage sleighs 
with sufficient coverings and a sufficient nimiber of liorses. The 

*.\uthor's Notk. — This was st.ited on the authority of Tumor's " History of the 
Holland Purcliase" and it wassuitposed there could be noilouj^t of its accuracy. But 
in Vol. I., Miscrllani-ous. of the .American State Papers^ piihHshetl bf Gales & Seaton, 
is a list of post-ofiices in iSoo (p. 2S<.)^ and of tliose established in iSoi (p. 20S), and in 
the latter is " Batavia, N. V., Sanford Hunt, Postmaster." It may he tliat Mr. Hunt did 
not accept the appointment and that Mr. Brisbane was appointed in 1802. 


fare was not to exceed six cents a mile for a passenger and four- 
teen pounds of baggage ; and for every one hundred and fifty 
pounds additional baggage he was to be entitled to charge six 
cents a mile or in that proportion. He was to start on regular 
days, and between the first day of July and first day of October 
he was to accomplish said route between Canandaigua and 
Buffalo at least once in a week, unavoidable accidents excepted. 

In a report made to Congress by the Hon. Gideon Granger, 
Postmaster-General, on the 21st of February, 1810, it is stated 
that in March, 1799, it required to write from Portland to 
Savannah and receive an answer forty days, and that it then 
required but twenty-seven; that in 1799 it required between 
New York and Canandaigua twenty days, and then required but 
twelve; and that most if not all the other mails have been 
expedited proportionably according to their relative importance. 

On the 1 8th of April, 181 4, Congress established a post-route 
''from Sheldon, by Willink and Hamburg, to Buffalo," and it 
appears from the books of the Post-office Department that mail 
service, once in two weeks, leaving Sheldon every other Friday 
at 6 a. m. and arriving at Buffalo the next day at 10 a. m., and 
leaving Buffalo the same day at 12 m. and arriving at Sheldon 
the next day by 8 p. m., was the same year put upon the route. 

In 1815, the mail was carried from Buffalo to Erie once a 
week, leaving Buffalo on Saturday at 12 m. and arriving at Erie 
on Monday at 6 p. m., and leaving Erie Tuesday at 6 a. m. and 
arriving at Buffalo on Thursday by 10 a. m. 

In 1816, the mail between Buffalo and Youngstown was carried 
twice a week, twelve hours being allowed for a trip either way. 

On the 3rd of March, 181 7, a post-route ** from Moscow by 
the State road to Buffalo," and one ''from Canandaigua, by 
Bristol, Richmond, Livonia and Genesee to Sheldon " were 

About the first of the year 1819 the post-office at Buffalo was 

made a distributing office, and it has continued to be a distribut- 

\ ing office ever since. 

f From 1820 to 1824, the arrangements of the Department for 

• 'A ^ 

% mail service from New York City to Buffalo, thence to Niagara. 

j and from Buffalo to Erie, Pa., were as follows: — Leave New 


York daily at 9 a. m., and arrive at Albany next day by 8.30 
p. m.; leave Albany at 2 a. m. and arrive at Utica the same day 
by 9 p. m. (10 p. m, in winter); leave Utica the next day at 6 
a. m. and arrive at Canandaigua the next day at 8 p. m.; leave 
Canandaigiia at 6 a. m, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 
and arrive at Buffalo the next day at 6 p. ra.; leave Buffalo 
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6 a. m, and arrive at 
Niagara the same day at 6 p. m.; and also to leave Buffalo Tues- 
days at 2 p. m. and arrive at Erie the next day by 6 p. m. It 
will thus be seen that a letter which left New York on Monday 
morning at 9 o'clock would reach this city at 6 o'clock the next 
Sunday evening, and Erie three days later, if the mails were not 
behind time. This frequently happened in bad weather, and it 
is possible that the interest of contractors, as connected with the 
transportation of passengers, sometimes induced them to reach 
Buffalo in advance of their schedule time. 

On the 3rd of March, 1823, a post-route was established 
" from Buffalo in Erie to Olean in the County of Cattaraugus, 
passing through the towns of Boston, Concord and EUicottville." 

On the 14th of July, 1824, the mail routes by which the 
Buffalo office was supplied, and the service thereon, were as fol- 
lows : Canandaigua to Buffalo, three times a week : Niagara to 
Buffalo, three times a week ; Erie to Buffalo, twice a week ; and 
Moscow to Buffalo, once a week. 

From 1824 to 1828, the mail was generally carried from 
New York to Albany by steamboats, six times a week, during the 
season of navigation^ and probably three times a w^eek, by land, 
in winter ; and the mail from Buffalo to Albany was carried 
twice a week, by one line in three days and four hours, and by 
tlie other in four days. The mails from Buffalo to Youngstown 
and from Buffalo to Erie were carried each way three times a 

It is stated in the Buffalo Directory of 182S, that the number 
of mails then arriving and departing weekly from the Buffalo 
post-office was thirty-five. An advertisement by the late Bela 
D. Coe, Esq., states that the Pilot mail-coach left Buffalo every 
evening, arrived at Geneva the first day, Utica the second, and 
Albany the third; and that the Dilligence coach left Buffalo 


every morning at 8 o'clock, arrived at Avon the first night, 
Auburn the second, Utica the third, and Albany the fourth. 

On the 15th of June, 1832, a post-route was established 
''from Buffalo, Erie County, by Aurora, Wales, Holland, Sar- 
dinia, China, Fredonia, Caneadea and Belfast to Angelica in 
Allegany County"; after which no other post-routes, commencing 
or terminating at Buffalo, were established prior to 1845, except 
that by the Act of July 7, 1838, all the railroads then existing 
(in which the Buffalo & Niagara Falls Railroad must be 
included), or thereafter to be completed in the United States, 
were declared post-roads, and the Postmaster-General was thereby 
authorized, under certain restrictions, to contract for carrying 
the mails thereon. 

As the last link in the chain of railroads from Albany to 
Buffalo was completed early in 1843, there was then, or soon 
after, continuous mail transportation by railroad from Boston, 
through Worcester, Springfield and Albany to Buffalo. The 
completion of the Hudson River Railroad, and of the New York 
and Erie Railroad in 1851, gave us direct railroad communication 
with New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, and 
the completion of the Buffalo & State Line Railroad and 
other roads in or before 1852, gave us further railroad service for 
the supply of the Buffalo office. 

As the receipts of our post-office are, to a large extent, deter- 
mined by the rates of postage charged, especially of letter 
postage, which probably constitutes nine-tenths of those receijns, 
a very brief statement in regard to the rates of letter postaiie 
since the post-office of Buffalo Creek was established, will form 
the concluding portion of this paper. 

From 1792 until 1845 the single rate of letter postage was 
charged on each single letter, and an additional single rate on 
each additional piece of paper; and if a single or other letter 
weighed an ounce or more it was charged four single raios tor 
each ounce. During this period of fifty-three years — from 1702 
to 1845 — t^e changes in the rates of inland letter postage were 
very slight. There were -generally •from five to eight dinVicnt 
single rates, according to the distance the letter was carried, ihe 
lowest beini::, at different times, six or eight cents, and the hiuh- 



est uniformly twenty-five cents, except for a short period, near 
the close of the War of 1812, when, in consequence of the 
expenses of the war, the rates were temporarily increased fifty 
per cent. 

From 1816 to 1845 ^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^ single letter carried not 
over thirty miles was d]/^ cents ; over thirty and under eighty 
miles, 10 cents ; over eighty and under one hundred and fifty 
miles, 12^^ cents; over one hundred and fifty and under four 
hundred miles, 18^ cents; and over four hundred miles, 25 

By an Act of Congress passed in 1845, ^^^ ^^^^ of inland let- 
ter postage (after the ist of July in that year), was fixed, irre- 
spective of the number of pieces of paper contained in a letter, 
as follows : For a letter not exceeding half an ounce in weight, 
carried under three hundred miles, 5 cents ; over three hundred 
miles, 10 cents, and an additional rate for every additional half 
ounce or fraction of half an ounce. Drop letters and printed 
circulars were by the same Act, to be charged 2 cents each. This 
was considered by the Post-office Department as an average 
deductic^i of 53 per cent, from the previously existing rates. 

In 1^51 an Act was passed which reduced the single rate of 
inland letter postage (from and after the 30th of June in that 
year), for any distance not exceeding three thousand miles, to 3 
cents, when prepaid, and 5 cents when not prepaid; and for any 
distance over three thousand miles to 6 cents when prepaid and 
10 cents when not prepaid. Drop letters and also unsealed 
printed circulars for any distance not exceeding five hundred 
miles were, by the same Act, to be charged i cent each. This, it 
is believed, was an average reduction of about fifty per cent, on 
the reduced rates of inland letter postage established by the Act 
of 1845. These rates did not apply to foreign letters, for which 
different provision was made. 

The Postal Treaty with Great Britain made in 1S4S, the 
postal arrangements made in 185 1 for direct and frequent postal 
communication with the Canadas and otl>er British Provinces, 
and the postal arrangements soon after 'made wirii Prussia and 
other foreign countries, increased to a considerable extent the 


amount of postages received at the Buffalo offices on letters sent 
to and received from foreign countries. 

In 1855 an Act was passed under which all inland postage 
was required to be prepaid and which fixed the single rate of 
inland letter postage for any distance not exceeding three thou- 
sand miles at 3 cents, and for any distance exceeding three thou- 
sand miles at 10 cents. 

In 1863 the single uniform rate of inland letter postage was 
fixed at 3 cents, without regard to distance, and was required to 
be prepaid by stamps ; the postage on drop letters was increased 
to 2 cents the half ounce; and all letters reaching their destina- 
tion without prepayment of postage were to be charged with 
double the rate of prepaid postage chargeable thereon, thus 
allowing letters to be sent without prepayment and leaving the 
general rate of inland letter postage when prepaid as it was fixed 
for distances under three thousand miles by the Act of 1851, but. 
increasing it i cent beyond the rate of 1851 when sent unpaid ; 
also increasing the rate of 1851 on unsealed printed circulars 
from I to 2 cents, and on drop letters from i cent the letter to 2 
cents the half ounce ; and reducing the rates of postage to and 
from California and Oregon from 6 to 3 cents when prepaid and 
from 10 to 6 cents when not prepaid. 

That the revenues of the Department have been perennially 
diminished by these reductions cannot be denied ; but it is be- 
lieved that this diminution has been slight in comparison with 
the public benefits which have followed the adoption of rates oi 
postage, which (the cost of transportation consequent upon the 
vast extent over which our more remote settlements are scattered. 
the general sparseness of our population and the high prices of 
clerical and other labor being considered) are believed to be the 
cheapest which have ever been adopted by any Government of 
ancient or modern times. 



FEBRUARY 6, 1863.* 


The year 1836 will long be remembered as one of crisis — 
not only in our own locality, but throughout the Nation. It 
dauTied upon us radiant with rosy light — with prospects full of 
gloriojis promise ; it departed, when dark clouds overcast the 
horizon ; that roseate ray deepened into the lurid hue of coming 
storm. It came with dazzling visions of wealth and fond 
anticipations of the happiness we ever link with golden chains 

•The following pages are extracted from a paper which was prepared for the Society, 
and afterwards utilized as an Introduction to Thomas's Buffalo City Directory under 
the title " Buffalo in 1S36 and 1862." It was prompted by the apprehension that 
Buffalo was then (1S63) about to experience a repetition of the experiences of '36. 
" That th? large augmentation of the ordinary volume of our paper circulation," our 
author wrote, " caused by the issues of the Government, added to the suspension of 
specie payment by all the banks of the country, is materially affecting prices, is 
conclusively shown by the sensitive barometer of the Stock. Market. The advance in 
most description of securities there negotiated, has been absolutely enormous. While 
they are first to feel the influence of inflation, there can be no doubt that land will be 
soon affected in like manner. .-Vn unmistakable indication is the fact, that after a long 
period of inactivity, transactions in land have become quite frequent among us of late, 
although not at high prices." Yet he fe'lt that " the tide of Speculation is again lieaving 
its restless waves around us," and he dwelt at length on the wisdom of abstaining from 
speculative investment. In 1S36 Buffalo had less than 16,000 inhabitants ; in 1862 it 
claimed 100,000; yet the prices of city lots, business as well as residence property, in 
'62 and for some years thereafter, were still in many cases far ejcceedcd by the valuation 
of those lands in '36. The phenomenal character ofthat early itiflation is further 
illustrated by comparison with present prices which on some streets then (and now) 
regarded as desirable, are little if any in advance of the fictitious values put upon 
them si.xty years ago. — Ed. 



to worldly prosperity ; it left us, with those gay illusions faded, 
those budding hopes blasted, those glowing fantasies exchanged 
for dull realities, those bright plans for the future sadly marred 
by the change that came over the spijjit of our dreams. It 
opened with universal prosperity apparently covering the land, 
giving stimulus to every department of trade, of commerce, of 
manufactures; it closed with almost as universal bankruptcy 
spread widely around, carrying disaster to thousands, in every 
branch of business, in every walk of life, to the high and to the 

Those by-gone scenes to which I allude, are within the 
personal experience of some of us ; and it may appear presump- 
tuous and unnecessary to speak in historic or didactic style, of 
times not yet remote enough to have escaped our lively recol- 
lections, and the consequences of which came home to so many 
in such practical shape, as to have been long since, in legal 
parlance, "of record"! 

To seek for positive causes of the universal speculative 
movement, which began in '34, and reached its acme in ' 2i^, 
were to invoke elements of political contention, with which it is 
wisest not seriously to intermeddle. Whether it was consequent 
upon the financial policy of President Jackson, or upon the 
action of his great antagonist in politics and in policy, the 
United States Bank ; or upon the emulative expansions of that 
institution and the affiliated Deposit Banks, then filled with the 
overflowing surplus of the National Treasury, have long been 
mooted questions which each one can decide for himself; but there 
can be little controversy as to the actual results, that became tang- 
ible, and were read of all men. 

However we may differ as to the political causes which 
produced the bank inflations, there will probably be few to 
controvert the opinion, that a redundant currency of paper, not 
based in any safe proportion upon coin, and issued to a large 
extent, by irresponsible corporations, had much to do with the 
extraordinary rise in prices, not only of real estate, but of almost 
every commodity of use or trade, Vhich was a jiromincnt 
symptom of the speculative fever of '36. As money dej^reciatos 
in value, from its abundance, the i)rices of other thinj^s 



necessarily advance, and this appreciation of property, inducing 
the belief that it is to be progressive, engenders the passion for 
speculation, which once let loose, runs riot, until it runs to ruin. 
To deny, that as a currency becomes redundant — especially 
one of paper — the value of money depreciates in proportionate 
ratio with the increase of the circulating medium, would be to 
discredit the well known history of the Continental currency, 
and of the assignats of Revolutionary France. 

Yet, while such a state of things is most commonly to be 

predicated of excessive issues of bank paper, we are not without 

example of like effects, flowing from a superabundance of the 

precious metals. In limited localities, where gold is plentifully 

had for the mere digging, prices appreciate in nearly the same 

ratio, as when paper exclusively forms the currency. When 

California first tempted adventurers with her glittering treasures, 

flour at the mines was sometimes sold as high as $200 a barrel, 

common shovels at ^14, and a box of Seidlitz powders for $24 ! 

And, at the newly discovered gold-fields of New Zealand, 

ordi^iary horses now sell for $700, and flour at $75 a barrel. But 

• this depreciation of gold is comparatively temporary, and 

confined to the immediate regions of its production, while the 

depreciation of paper is National in extent, and difficult to 

be controlled within any assigned limits. 

1 Banks sprang up, in the prolific era of ' ^^d, like the mush- 

\ rooms of a summer's night, and proved as unsubstantial and as 

I perishing. Hosts of .desperate speculators, who by that "hocus 

! pocus " ' best known to skillful financiers, could manage to 

galvanize such monetary institutions into legal existence, 

with capital stock all paid in by promissory notes, became 

suddenly possessed of abundant means, which enabled them to 

operate on a grand scale. They bought lots and farms, and 

houses and equipage, careless at what cost, so that they paid in 

currency of such facile creation. 

That prices should remain uninfluenced by this reckless 
profusion with which money, or its semblance, was so widely 
scattered, would be sim|)ly impossible. " Easy got, easy gone," 
is one of those old maxims that are as true as they are trite, and 
applies with peculiar aptness to the large and sudden profits of 
successful fraud, or lucky speculation. 




Assuming, then, that the state of the currency had much to 
do with the speculative tendencies of '36, we may be asked to 
account for the anomalous fact, that amid all this abundance of 
what was called money, the ''street rates" of interest were 
from three to five per cent, a month — as tough shaving as is met 
with in tight business times, w^hen speculations are the exception 
and not the rule. 

To explain this seeming incongruity, that prices should 
advance under such ruinous rates of interest — and that they 
rapidly did so, is an undisputed fact — we must bear in mind that 
speculations begot usury, and usury, in its turn, begot specu- 
lations. The buyers and sellers who were making thousands 
with; magic facility, hesitated not to feed largely the avarice of 
the money-lender, who supplied the means for their extensive 
operations ; while the latter, seeing the colossal profits realized 
by others from the use of his funds, thought they could well 
afford to pay him higher and higher rates — and so the mutual 
process of reasoning had the very natural result of coming to 
the same conclusion. 

But while ascribing in a great degree the speculative impulses 
of the period we speak of to the unwonted issues of bank paper 
which flooded the country, it is but just to remark that other 
influences must have aided the momentum which sent us forward 
with railroad speed, until the crash came that threw the whole 
train off the track, There is an eagerness for sudden and easy 
gain, ever alive in human breasts, and manifesting itself in all 
ages, in enterprises that promise golden returns, but often prove 
gilded illusions. This propensity to obtain wealth by some 
shorter process than that which Adam taught his race, is not 
altogether dependent for its manifestations on the condition of 
the circulating medium — although it may be stimulated to won- 
derful activity, by the superabundance of money at peculiar 
periods, when many causes combine to produce feverish action. 
The tulip mania, which nearly two centuries ago prevailed in 
Holland, when single roots of that simple flower, sold for the 
enormous price of $2,000 ; the famous South Sea Bubble, which 
set all England agog, in the beginning of the Eighteenth Cen- 
tury ; the cotton s[)eculation of 1S25, the mulbcrr)- fever which 




raged in this country in 1838-39-40 ; the railway mania in 
England and France, of 1846-47, were not dependent upon the 
condition of the currency, but upon their own supposed pro- 
I creative power of money-making. The purchaser of the tulip 

ibulb bought it, not for its intrinsic value, but because its 
multiplied product could be in time disposed of at similar or 
higher prices. So with the propagators of the Morus inu/ticaulis, 
(who paid a dollar each for mere slips of a shrub of such easy and 
rapid increase ; they cared little what was paid for the seed, so 
!that the grain to spring from it was gold in multiplied propor- 
tion. But the buyers of South Sea stock in the Eighteenth 
I Century, and of lands in 1836, mostly fancied there was intrinsic 

I value in what they held. Some doubtless bought to sell, without 

any confidence in the prices paid, in the belief that, to use a 
common saying, '^ the fools are not all dead " ; and they kept on 
in the giddy race, caring little who got the unlucky individuals 
i who might happen to be "hindmost." The purchaser of a lot, 

I if he could manage to raise enough for the payment down, 

I literally obeying the Scriptural injunction, took '' no thought 

I for the morrow," did not trouble himself as to the money to be 

* paid hereafter, for he confidently calculated soon to sell, at a 

profit, to some one else. And so prices went up, at every 
I transfer, in something like arithmetical progression. 

■J It must have been a curious study for the calm observer to 

watch the progress of the speculative mania, and note its effects 
\ upon the individuals who came under its influence. At first, 

' when land-sellers displayed their maps, with tempting array of 

corner or water lots, with prices and terms obligingly laid down 
. I for the information of the- anxious public, the cautious man 

:f would listen to no proposition to purchase land that he did not 

want, and by which he would incur an indebtedness greater than 
' he could conveniently pay. He calculated the interest, the 

times of payment, and safely concluded such purchases out of 
his power. Another, however, with more confidence and less 
\ prudence, bought, and in a few days, or weeks, sold out at a 

handsome advance. His cautious neighbor saw that he had 
missed a small fortune by his timidity, and to lose no farther 
time, blindly bought the next bargain that offered. He, too, 



effects a sale that nets him at once, perchance, the profits of a 
whole year's business, and fancies that he has only to repeat the 
experiment, on a more extensive scale, to make his fortune with 
magic rapidity. He becomes a bold operator — buys large tracts, 
and maps them into blocks and lots, for which there is no lack 
of eager customers, and the exciting game goes bravely on, until 
the reaction comes that arrests these doings in mid career. 

What was the spectacle presented in our own community 
during the memorable times of which we speak ? 

The wonderful discovery of Daguerre was then among the 
unimagined marvels of the Future, and we therefore can have no 
facsimiles of the inimitable tableaux that were then presented, 
in private parlors, in public bar-rooms, in places of business, and 
at the street corners. There were eager merchants, a goodly 
sprinkling of over-smart clerks ; there were lawyers, doctors, 
editors, with now and then a grave divine to leaven the lump : 
there were scores of loitering mechanics, and not a few from the 
farming neighborhoods, tarrying from their marketing, all 
occupied in the one great ])ursuit of getting suddenly rich — out 
of each other. The topic of conversation was the exhaustless 
theme of land — as if it had been found the ''one thing need- 
ful," and the whole community were determined to become 
agrarians at once. The passers-by would catch from the ani- 
mated conversation of each knot of busy talkers, with ''specu- 
lation in those eyes that they did glare withal," some such words 
as '^corner lot," — "running back to an alley," — "water 
front," — "South Channel a sure thing," — "railroad run by 
it," — "note at sixty days for first payment, balance end of ten 
years," — "worth double in six months," — "make out your 
papers," etc., etc: They chaffered', they negotiated, tlie} 
marked out their lots with canes, or umbrellas, or their boot- 
toes, upon the doorsteps or the sidewalks — 

Their dream of life, from morn till night, 
Land — land — still land ! 

The ladies, too — that is, the spinsters and widows, who could 
hold property in their own 'right — were not disposed to let the 
lords of creation be the only lords of the soil, and they invested 
their savings, or the proceeds of homesteads, sold off for the 



purpose, in making the first payment on purchases, the profits on 
which were to render the fair holders perfectly marketable for 

It was all-absorbing, that engrossing desire to catch the golden 
opportunity, whose swelling tide wafted to wealth. The 
physician, intent upon some proffered bargain when asked by 
his anxious patient how his medicine was to be taken, answered 
abstractedly, *' one quarter down, balance three annual instal- 
ments." Mechanics, when their customers wished jobs of work 
done, said they had ''other fish to fry" — were in better busi- 
ness. One of them, whose name was Pat Smith, the saddler, 
when called on to make a harness, replied, " Why, man, I don't 
do any more business — I've bought a lot ! " 

Oh ! but they were rare groups — those busy, bustling, 
sanguine moonshine-seekers of ^ T^d, and 'tis pity they could not 
have been immortalized by a Hogarth's inimitable pencil ! As 
in his celebrated moral pictorial series, entitled "The Rake's 
Progress," might have been depicted the varying fortunes of the 
actors in that changeful drama. The opening picture might 
have shown the honest, industrious mechanic, content with 
gradual gain, and happy in the enjoyment of a comfortable 
though humble home, ignorant of the feverish hopes or fears of 
him whose fortune is staked upon a cast. He next might have 
been seen, listening with wondering ears, and excited counte- 
nance, his implements of labor lying still the while, to some 
recital of the sudden luck of a neighbor, who, by one single hit, 
had made hundreds of thousands, while himself had been 
earning but a week's wages. The temptation is too great — he 
becomes dissatisfied with his trifling gains, and longs for the 
splendid profits he hears of. His snug shop no longer bounds 
his wishes, his moderate business has become mean and worthless 
in his eyes, and he throws aside his imj)lements, determined to 
try his fortune in the same field. He might next be seen eagerly 
driving the fraudulent bargain, by which some unsuspecting 
friend was made a "■ victim of misi)laced coi)jidcnce " — c^onsort- 
ing with sharpers and brokers, to advance his sche*mes of money- 
making. His next appearance might be in the character of a 
paper aristocrat, whose splendid equipage, whose grand mansion 




and seeming wealth, attract the admiration and the envy of the 
multitude. He condescends, he patronizes, he becomes oracular, 
his opinions are listened to with deference, his jokes are loudly 
laughed at, and quoted by the wits about town — and he passes 
into that class known in fashionable entomology as ''big bugs.'' 

But the last scene in these real sketches would, in the hands 
of the great master of caricature, have been instructively drawn. 
Beggared in fortune, shorn of his honors, and habited in the 
"shabby-genteel," you find him again at his old business, but 
not the same contented man as when he left it. His cheerful air 
has changed to sullen despondency; his once busy hand, that 
quickly plied his tools of trade, moves listlessly in his now hated 
task, and if not making a further wreck of himself, by the intem- 
perate draught that promises deceitful solace to his troubles, it is 
a wonder. His family, fallen from that envied sphere in which 
so many artificial wants are learned, so many conventional 
necessities discovered, are pining in chagrin, and disappointed 
ambition is at their heart's core, rankling like a barbed arrow. 
This would have been a series of pictures, faithful to the life, 
here and elsewhere. Ah ! such were some of the results, to 
individuals, of those Speculations of '36 ! 

Lamentable indeed, in this and most other places of any 
note, from Maine to Mississippi, was it to witness the withdrawal, 
in '36, from their honest avocations, of tradesmen and mechan- 
ics and husbandmen, who sought an easier livelihood through the 
chances of speculation. Many who had for a while resisted all 
the allurements of the tempting bargains that were going on 
around them, came at last to the conclusion that their old-fash- 
ioned prudence was but foolishness — and they, too, at the 
eleventh hour, plunged with headlong haste into the arena, to 
secure the prizes that still awaited the grasp of those who sought 

The stages, steamboats and other public conveyances, tl^e 
hotels, saloons and all places of general resort, were thronged 
with land-sellers and land-buyers. They poured westward like 
an army of locusts, to de\our the i)road acres of the National 
domain, in advance of the tide of emigration which was setting' 
with resistless force in that direction. I was at Detroit for a few 


1 i 



days in July, ' t,6, and witnessed this incredible eagerness to 
make entries of the public lands, for which the issues of the 
State Banks were then received by the Government. The Re- 
ceiver's office was literally beleaguered with applicants, until the 
sidewalk and street in front of it had the appearance of the polls 
at a hotly contested election. Persons intent on locating the 
same tract, took fleet horses on the spot, and ran Gilpin races to 
the land office, as if for a sweepstakes. To such a fearful extent 
did the speculators absorb the public lands, to the injury of the 
actual settlers, and the serious detriment of the States in which 
the lands were situated, that in July, President Jackson issued 
his famous Specie Circular, requiring specie alone in payment, 
and checked the evil, by precipitating the ruin that was then 
ultimately inevitable. This missive of the Executive, crashing 
like a ponderous battle-axe, through the paper helmets of the 
Rag Barons, swept them down by hundreds, and spread dismay 
and disaster throughout the land. Its effect was electric. Con- 
fidence, that creative agent in human society, was stunned, and 
reeled, arfd fell. The vast fabric of credit that had been reared 
to the very skies, toppled headlong. Fearful were the anathemas 
denounced against that iron-willed old man, by the bankrupted 
adventurers who meant to rise winners from the game. The 
banks contracted, like boa- constrictors, around their customers, 
preparatory to their subsequent suspension of specie payments, 
and universal panic pervaded the country. We tumbled from 
the zenith to the nadir — and it was a nine days' fall ! 

The bubble had burst ! Its gigantic proportions, glittering 
with rainbow dyes, no longer mirrored landscapes of pictured 
beauty in the golden sunlight, but dissolved into the empty air. 
The operations were over; the sharps proved flats at last — the 
sparkle of success had flashed and faded — and all terrestrial 
things had suddenly become dull, stale and particularly 

But, disastrous as was the pecuniary ruin that the receding 
tide had left behind, there was anofhej consequence not less 
deplorable — the indifference to moral as well as legal obligations, 
which resulted from the utter inability to fulfill them. Although 
there was an incalculable sum of indebtedness, arisin^i; from bal- 


ances due on purchases of real estate, where the debtors had 
already paid double what the land was worth, and were held on 
their bonds for perhaps as much more, the repudiation of which 
involved no bad faith, there was likewise a vast amount of honest 
and honorable debts, merged in the sweeping insolvency that 
followed. And when the Bankrupt Law of '42 — that necessary 
evil — wiped out, at once, the enormous liabilities that pressed 
like an incubus upon the energies of thousands, there was by far 
too general a forgetfulness, that the obligations of honesty are 
more imperative than those of law. The moral tone of com- 
munities had been deranged by the excesses of the times, and 
few, alas ! were able to resist the immunity offered alike to fraud 
and to misfortune. They took the legal Letheon, and all troub- 
lesome compunctions were unfelt, or unheeded. 

In looking back, from this point of dispassionate observation, 
upon the influences that operated upon the public, like the 
"encasing air" we breathe, the wonder is, not that so many 
fell, but that any stood steadfast. The wisest judgment has not 
intuitive wisdom, but is formed by constant and careful obser\a- 
tion of the acts and experiences of other men. Our estimates of 
value are based upon the estimates of the community around us. 
The adage declares 

The true worth of any thing, 

Is so much money as 'twill bring, 

— and this is true of most material things. The shrewdest man 
buys and sells by the estimates of other people, although he may 
fancy them greatly modified by his own conclusions. We can- 
not be entirely independent of the influence which the examj)le 
and opinions of men have upon those within their circle — their 
relatives, and friends, and neighbors. We may stubbornly 
resist it, and imagine we rely solely upon our own sagacity in 
shaping our ends, but we cannot change our natures. The 
passions are contagious, and communities arc often jiervaded by 
some strong common feeling,, that could not have been excited 
simultaneously in so many-separ'ate individual minds. Enthusi- 
asm is eminently of this contagious character, and enthusiasm is 
a main element in the propagation of speculative enterprises. 

li 1 



It was indeed difficult to withstand the impulse consequent 
upon hearing the judgments of men, of known candor and pro- 
.verbial caution, deliberately pronounced in favor of purchases at 
prices we now know to have been wild in the extreme. Listen- 
ing to such authoritative opinions and induced to distrust their 
own views as being ''behind the times," careful men who had 
stood aloof during the first stages of the excitement, became 
giddy with gazing at the whirl around them and joined the jig 
at last. They threw aside their carefulness as an incumbrance 
that but clogged their progress to wealth and fancied happiness, 
and sought to make up for lost time by being rasher than the 
rashest. The example of such men acted upon many, who not 
having confidence in their own judgments, waited the lead of 
others whose superior sagacity they had been accustomed to 
look up to, and now blindly followed in their wake, thinking 
that where they led, must be the path of safety and success. 

There is, then, great excuse for the errors of individuals 
when their misjudgments were sanctioned by the aj^jproval of 
whole communities. In our daily transactions we are now gov- 
erned by the opinions of perhaps some of the very same men 
who were so wide of the mark in '36. I know that one citizen 
of great respectability and unblemished integrity, then advised 
the purchase of land at $125 a foot that in three years afterwards 
could not have been sold for ^25. I recollect that another, of 
much experience, and relied on as oracular in such matters, 
valued unimproved lots at $60 per foot that were subsequently 
sold, after twelve years' interest, taxes and assessments had been 
paid, for $7 ! 

Let us not, then, while, we deprecate the madness of the 
Speculations of '36, too harshly blame the unfortunate men who 
were touched with the prevalent malady. The hallucination 
which came over them was a species of what Mrs. Partington 
would, term money-ynania. It now seems remarkable that no 
commissions of lunacy were then issued, in behalf of expectant 
relatives, to restrain the wealthy monomanjacs from making such 
havoc with estates that properly belonged to their hopeful heirs 
and longing legatees. It is astonishing, too, that the plea of 
insanity — generally as available in criminal cases, as was Old 



Tony Weller's favorite ** alibi " — was not set up to bar recovery 
upon those crazy contracts, by the enforcement of which men 
were stripped of their all. Now-a-days the bare evidence that a 
man had paid such prices for property as were then readil\ 
given, would be prima-facie evidence of his craziness. But at 
that time the difficulty would have been in obtaining a jury out 
of the 'Mnfected district," for that was as wide as the Union 

Let us, then, tread lightly as possible on the tender toes of 
those luckless men w^ho ruined themselves while ruining others. 
In their haste to get rich they fell into a snare. Yet, methinks, 
the loss of hard-earned property, the business relations of years 
deranged or broken up, the shattered credit, the dependence 
upon precarious means of livelihood, the spurns and buffets of 
the world, were punishment enough for errors as venial as those 
chargeable to the Speculators of ' T^d. 

Not that this should in any. way excuse the frauds that were 
so deplorably common in those operations. Those are without 
the palliation that may be allowed to mere rashness. Deliberate 
fraud is the offspring of moral turpitude and cannot be justified 
because it was the fashion. The obligations of honesty and fair 
dealing were as binding then as ever, but they seemed to have 
been greatly weakened by the influences which were abroad. 
Misrepresentation and falsehood were resorted to in numberless 
instances to swindle innocent purchasers, until many of the 
extensive operators obtained the significant and deserved cogn(^- 
men of *Mand-sharks," and "land-pirates." 

The most singular feature of the speculative mania was the 
blindness that seemed to have come over the common sagacity 
of men, who in the ordinary affairs of life, had sense enough to 
look to their own interests, lliey purchased land of persons 
whose responsibility was often unknown, without knowledj^e t)!" 
the goodness of title or protection against prior incumbramx's. 
Men of straw bought blocks on credit, giving mortgages lor the 
purchase money, and then sold them out in lots with no pr«^vi- 
sion for releases from the lien which*covered the whole. MauN 
of those lots, too, were bought or taken as security for debts b\ 
men of substantial property who assumed the fulfillment of the 




obligations given for them, and went on paying three times as 
much as the land was worth for lots to which there was no re- 
liable title. Farms were bought far beyond the city limits, 
mapped out with " Squares " and '' Places " and the lots sold in 
New Vork and elsewhere to capitalists and business men as desir- 
able locations for fashionable residences. Persons who had sold 
lots in the early stages of the excitement, bought them back in a 
few weeks or months, paying the holders a large bonus to relin- 
quish their bargains. 

Adventurers who could manage to get a few gold pieces to 
display in their office windows, boldly set up brokers' shops, or 
what are now styled ''banking offices," and unblushingly 
charged from one and a-half to two and a-half per cent, a month 
for their mere endorsements of the promissory notes of individ- 
ual '' operators," when, by no process known to modern science, 
could even a " trace" of the precious metals have been found 
had they been subjected, with all their effects, to destructive dis- 
tillation ! Fatuity had taken place of Reason. Instinct, even, 
was gone — for that impels to self-preservation — unless it be that 
of the silly moth, who rushes into the gaudy flame that dazzles 
and devours her. 

A very curious illustration of the recklessness produced by the 
wonderful success of some of the operators, who fancied their 
luck would turn everything they touched to gold, was the buy- 
ing out of individuals by the lump, without inventory or esti- 
mate, which was gone into in a few instances. "I'll give you 
^150,000 for all your property, except your wife and babies and 
household furniture," would be the bantering proposition over a 
bottle of champagne. '' Done," says the other, and the bargain 
was made. The buyer took possession of the lands, tenements, 
mortgages, notes, book accounts, choses inaction, etc., and paid 
over the small amount of cash agreed on for the down payment, 
giving mortgage security on the property tor the balance. It had 
become tedious to purchase in parcels and nothing but big 
figures would answer for big buyers. " ^ 

The sad sequel to the career of that wholesale purchaser in 
the transaction above referred to, remains to be told. I met him 
day before yesterday on his way to the Poor-house with a certi- 

'B \ 




ficate in his hand from the Overseer of the Poor, entitling him 
to the shelter of that last refuge of the unfortunate! Yet he 
figured, in '36, as worth three-quarters of a million ; and so ex- 
tensive were his transactions, that he kept a branch office on 
Broadway, in New York, for his business in that city, furnished 
with all the luxury of mahog^any and Brussels, and a splendid 
piano for the musical tastes of his ''hosts of friends." It should 
not be forgotten, that in the affluent season of his prosperity, he 
supported, for fiv^e years, a free school for orphan boys and girls, 
of whom twelve from each of the five wards of the city, had thus 
the privilege of a good education, and were furnished with 
books and stationery without charge. How striking an illustra- 
tion of the mutability of human things is thus afforded us, and 
we may well add, '' 'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." 

It is impossible to make even an approximate estimate of the 
aggi'egate amount of speculative purchases then made in this city 
alone, as but a portion of the conveyances were by deed, and 
placed upon record. A vast number of articles, or contracts, 
were issued and transferred from purchaser to purchaser — the 
number and amount of which transactions cannot be known. 
But, so far as the records show, there were some twelve thousand 
deeds, mostly for city property, recorded during the period 
spoken of — being about three thousand more than had been 
made in the entire county, since its organization, a quarter of a 
century previous. If we assume that there were as many transfers 
by contract as by deed — and the estimate would be below the 
mark — we have an aggregate number of conveyances reaching to 
nearly twenty-five thousand. The entire amount of these pur- 
chases could have been little less than $25,000,000. Several of 
the single purchases amounted to $100,000 and even 5200. ceo. 

The enormous demand for money which these immense 
operations created, was still insufficient to stagger prices, in thai 
unnatural condition of things, and men bought and -built as ii 
reckoning day would never come. The buildings erected in 
this city during '35 and '3^, were estimated at the time, to have 
cost $2,830,000. Some of them were palace-like ma'^sions. 
costing from $20,000 to $30,000, exclusive oi their extensive 
and valuable grounds. In vain did the sensible admonition ot 



good old Dr. Watts, *^ build not your house too high," preach 
prudence to the confident builders, who went swimmingly on, 
rearing those castles of folly. They yet stand, in imposing 
magnificence, yet seldom inhabited by those who built them. 
They were haunted by spectres of the '' Elephant " — ghosts that 
their luckless proprietors could easier raise than lay — and they 
fled from the disturbing visions, to humbler and more peaceful 

From a Land Register which was kept in '36, I have taken 
the then ruling prices of fifty unimproved lots on thirty-seven 
streets in different sections of this city, and carefully compared 
them with those which the same property would bear now, and 
find that, tried by this test, our prices at this time are, by aver- 
age, less than one-half as high as they were in ' t^6 — the disparity 
being greatest in locations farthest removed from the business 

A few instances of those prices of '36, will suffice to show 
their visionary character. The wildest of all were outside the 
old city limits, but I have no time to go beyond its then borders 
for samples. Within its limits, the advance made upon lands 
purchased by the quantity, was most incredible. I knew one 
tract, bought at the rate of $2 a foot, or about $500 an acre, in 
the early part of '35, sold and resold in parcels, until some of 
the sales made within a twelve-month afterwards, were at the 
rate of $40 a foot, or ^10,000 an acre! And these last buyers 
purchased not for occupancy, but to get a still farther advance 
of the next customers! The same land is now worth $18 per 

As the tendency of disastrous reactions is to go as far below 
the ordinary level of a natural state of things, as the feverish 
condition had risen above it, we reached in '41 and '42, the 
lowest point of which the sliding scale was susceptible. Lands 
were then a drug on the market, and could hardly be disposed 
of at any price. Sales were actually made, mostly of outer lots, 
however, at from one-tenth to one-twenfieth of the price they 
bore in '36 — that is, lots which had sold as high*as 535 and ^40 
a foot, were then purchased for $1.75 to $2 a foot ! Their 
present worth would be say $16 per foot — showing a considerable 
but healthy increase. 




It is touching, almost, to dwell upon the generous, trusting 
confidence which the speculators of '36 manifested. Nothing 
was too impossible for them to believcin, or to promise. Those 
who doubted, were literally damned, and stigmatized as ** croak- 
ers," and no true friends to Buffalo and its interests. They 
prophesied, those speculators, like the inspired Pythoness, of the 
Future, and casting aside the things that were behind, pressed 
forward for those which were before. They gave all the evi- 
dence which men could give, of their sincerity and their earn- 
estness, for they backed up their belief by buying. They built, 
on paper, the splendid Perry Monument, of white American 
marble, one hundred feet high (which you can't see), in front of 
the Churches. They in like visionary manner, erected the 
noble College edifice on North Street, for the University of 
Western New York, which was so magnificently endowed (by 
subscription) with professorships that rivalled the princely 
largesses of the Lawrences and the Appletons. They gazed with 
pride and satisfaction upon the massive foundations which 
Rathbun had commenced of that stupendous Exchange, whose 
lofty dome was to tower two huridred and twenty feet above the 
pavement on the Clarendon Square ! Their fond error was, that 
they lived a generation too soon ! Like many of the philoso- 
phers and reformers of the world, they were in advance of their 
age — or, in other words, "decidedly ahead of their lime!'' 
Were they all wrong in their enthusiastic estimate of what we 
shall yet be? No — no — it was only, after all, a question ot 
time. The day-dreams of '36 shall yet become realities — but it 
will be after this 

That era of ' T^d was the carnival of the usurers — tho-e 
"Knights of the Golden FUecey "Wheresoever the can a>< 
is, there will the eagles be gathered together" — and they 
resembled that king of the feathered tribes in certainly one 
characteristic — they were birds of prey. They flocked hither 
from afar, greedy for gain, and swooped for the golden harvc-t 
that waved before them. \\\ the regular broker shops, enormof.N 
amounts of promissory iTotes were* shaved as with a jack-i>l.MU'. 
at such rates that on "long paper" thus converted, there ua- 
about as proportionate an amount going to the hapless holder, a^ 

THE SPECULATIVE CKA7.E (>/■ 'j6. 333 


was realized by the farmer whose corn was so carrrully tolled by 
the thrifty miller that it was hard to i( li which was the toll and 
which the grist. Beside these whole-alt^ cltalers, there was an 
army of '^street brokers," who made a ]K-ttv cipiral of a few- 
hundred dollars support them, without any oth(-r kibor than that 
of ** shinning" for cash and customers. 

The effect of thus diverting th«- money capital needed for 
regular business purposes, was, of comse, mjnriuus in the last 
degree to the merchant and the iinci'aiii(. I>ey could ill 
afford to raise money in com])etiti()M v\iih s|)f'(ulators, whose 
notes mainly represented large prcjfits. But. m the winding up 
of those financial operalions which promised such easy fortunes 
to the rapacity of the money-dealers, nianv of those enterprising 
citizens came to- a realizing sense of the j)rtdicament of those 
spoken of in the old proverb, who " went out \n shear and came 
home shorn." The borrowers had mostly bec<»me bankrupt. 
There was extensive repudiation, too, among the solvent debtors, 
of paper, that, although usurious, had lieeu remihirlv taken up or 
renewed as long as the bubbles of i)rofit ut re floating ai)ove us 
and eager pursuers after them — pajj* r tliat |>ro\e(l then as value- 
less as the idle air. 

When the delusion could drkule no I >i y. r and men all 
unwillingly were brought to their seii>e-. as i -ate patients are 
made to have lucid intervals by the c id -hower-bath, then 
followed the revulsion that inevitably su' ceed^ high-wrought 
excitement, and the depression v\as a I'-erfei t cavity. The 
aeronaut whose upward flight is checked 1)\ n e (•llapsing of his 
gas-filled balloon, is not more sudden I i n^ t to Mother 
Earth than were the speculators hurKd fn-m i e giddy heights 
where they were busily building (a>tl'> m ;namy cloudland. 
**They went up like a rocket, and came d '\\ like the stick." 

Then- revelled the legal ])rofes>ion I" e anie grists to 
their mills, that were ground by the upp r an ; > ■ mrr millstones, 
of which the luckless customers i^ot mm- • 
Then the sheriffs and the masters in clui ij r 
conveyancers of the landed interest, and 
drove. The newspaper publishers, bkevi^e 
solid columns of legal notices that cr u. 

an and shorts." 
1 « auie the great 
*lni>\ trade they 
ved upon the 
h r sheets, as a 




special dispensation of Providence. In short, as it is truly " an 
ill wind that blows nobody any good," there were a few classes 
who were pecuniarly advantaged by the attendant consequences 
of the speculations. 

But that the large property owners who held extensive tracts 
before the fever developed itself, which they sold off at great 
prices during the excitement, were very materially benefitted, was 
by no means the case except in a few individual instances. True, 
they made sales at large prices of much real estate, but mostly 
for small payments in hand, taking bonds and mortgages for the 
balance, as was the prevalent custom. Before the subsequent 
instalments became due, prices were all down, and the pur- 
chasers, mostly declining farther payments, let the lots go back 
to the original proprietors, saddled with the heavy cost of fore- 
closure, often equalling or exceeding the amount received on the 
sale of the land. But, granting them to have even realized 
large amounts on their sales, they, too, did not escape the 
universal mania, and reinvested their money in other localities — 
often in distant paper cities which they hoped to build up to 
great emporiums, or in the purchase of vast tracts of wild land 
in the Western States, which their fertile imaginations saw 
doubling, trebling and quadrupling in the not far-off prospective. 
These schemes, the wildest of the wild, were entered into, 
heart, hand, and purse, by men who, while selling out as rapidly 
as possible their Buffalo lots at Buffalo prices, were too shrewd 
and too cautious to buy other property here. They preferred 
going abroad to exercise their keen discrimination and cool 
judgment in selecting locations which would inevitably grow 
into future Buffalos, and pile up for them new fortunes in each 
spot of promise. They poured out without stint or hoi- 
tancy, their spare cash, and mortgaged their credit at sue h 
places as Irving, Dunkirk, Van Buren, Erie, Ohio City, Man- 
hattan, Green Bay, Manitouwoc, New Buffalo, etc., etc., — to 
, say nothing of Black Rock, whose whole territory, nearly, wa> 
swallowed up by a gigantic-stock company of Buffalonians, wlio 
made a clear million or two of dollars — by paper estimate. A> 
a sample of tb.ese enterprises — to give the history of them all 
would swell this paper to a volume — take that of the somc-iiuu- 




port of Van Buren, near Dunkirk. A tract was there purchased 
of three hundred acres, at $25 an acre, which was converted 
into stock — seventy-five shares, at $100 each. Operations were 
commenced on a large scale. The speculators. went ahead, and 
being *' fast men," soon ran the shares up to $3,000 each — thus 
swelling the original value of $7,500 to $225,000 ! It is 
unnecessary to add that the collapse which soon followed that 
high fever was a very cold stage, and nearly fatal to the patients 
of sanguine or choleric temperaments. 

Nearly all of the investments thus made abroad by those who 
had been lucky enough to sell out at home, proved even more 
visionary than were the purchases so recklessly going on here, in 
which they knew too much to participate. Without real 
importance. of position, the forced growth of the paper cities 
stopped with the short-lived stimulus imparted by the expendi- 
ture of foreign capital in building their wharves, warehouses, 
hotels, stores, etc., and like punctured bladders, they subsided 
into remarkable repose. Every sign-board over their deserted 
inns and silent shops and empty storehouses, was like an epitaph 
over buried hopes that have no resurrection. The plow again 
went over the lots and through the streets that had been mapped 
out so alluringly with squares named after the princely propri- 
etors, and the harvest of golden grain once more waved where 
that of golden gain was sowed in promise, yet blasted ere it was 
ready for the reapers. 

Thus, like the fabled apples of the Dead Sea, fair to look on, 
yet turning to ashes on the lips, were the fruits of even the suc- 
cessful operations. The cash was scarcely in possession ere it 
vanished, in one way or another. Those who, too wise or too 
timid to make new purchases when they had themselves sold out, 
were either tempted to loan their money upon promissory paper 
that proved to be purely promissory, or to endorse grievously for 
their friends, relatives and neighbors; of which innocent indis- 
cretions they were generally reminded by the notary, and for 
which they could only receive absolution from the attorney or 
the sheriff. Others who escaped thCse ordeals which environed 
the wealthy, built them fine town houses or grand country seats. 
that soon proved a little too large for their diminished fortunes 

1 1 




and were sold, after a brief experiment of nabob life, for about a 
quarter of their cost, or if retained, involved their proprietors in 
pecuniary embarrassments from which the struggles of years were 
necessary to extricate them. 

Thus evenly were the accounts balanced among the trafncktrs 
on the thronged and busy stage where the doings of '2,6 were 
done. The books of the Universe are kept by double entry, and 
not an act or purpose, material or mental, but has its debit and 
its credit. Like the poised beam, one end cannot go up witheiut 
the other comes down. There must be an equivalent in the 
exchanges of the world or the deficiency is made up some- 
where before we get through with the account. That measure 
which we mete out to others shall, in some shape, assured I v be 
measured to us again. 

Are we here asked, did no good grow out of all this evil? 
were there no enduring benefits realized from that extraordinary 
enterprise which sought to develop the resources of the country, 
to extend commerce, to build up manufactures, to bid citic.> 
flourish where the wilderness had been ? Did not the works of 
these mistaken men remain, even though themselves were 
wrecked on the rocks of folly ? 

There were, indeed, stately edifices built, innumerable stores, 
warehouses and mammoth hotels erected, canals dug, railroad^ 
projected, ships and steamboats put afloat under the impulses o\ 
'36, which remained and were of some after use. But what was 
gained by this precocity of growth, this anticipating by half a 
generation the wants and prospects of the future? The same 
efforts, judiciously and reasonably put forth during a more 
extended period, would have been vastly more beneficial and 
been followed by no revulsion, bringing pecuniary distress and 
stagnation of business in its train. The preternatural exertions 
inspired by artificial stimulants leave the bodily frame exhausteii 
by the violence of unwonted action and nothing is gained by the 
labor performed under such excitement that is not paid for by 
the subsequent prostration oi the system. So with the results of 
excessive enterprise. AikI, so'far as labor was withdrawn t'roni 
its accustomed avocations, and men sought to '' live by their 
wits " instead of their work, there was a great positive loss. Ihe 





wealth of a country consists in nothing but its labor — that of its 
living generation or of the former generations, who have left 
their surplus earnings behind them in property or money, which 
is its representative. If the entire labor of this Nation were to 
be now suspended for a single year, there would be a total loss of 
over $2,000,000,000 to the country. And the tendency in '36 
to live without work was rapidly impoverishing the Nation, while 
individuals were amassing fancied wealth. 

With all the recuperative energy which is a characteristic of 
our people, Buffalo for a long time suffered deeply from the 
effects of the unnatural stimulation of '36. Notwithstanding the 
large and substantial increase of trade and population that has 
since come to us, we have not — so to speak — begun to reach the 
prices which real estate bore at that time, nearly a generation 
ago. And we -should not aspire to reach them faster than may 
be warranted by the gradual progress of a prospering and healthy 
growth. Let us hope never again to witness any periodic return 
of such eccentric comets as that which here reached its perihelion 
in 'z^. 





The present sketch undertakes to show how residents of 
Buftalo have exploited themselves in the fields of literature. The 
material achievements of this city are well known. Our iron 
ships and railway cars, our elevators, our stoves, our soap, and 
our beer are world famous ; but what have we to boast in the way 
of historians, novelists and poets ? 

The putting-up of writings in book-form does not constitute 
literature, though it is often so regarded. As the present survey 
is to be of such literature as is found in books, the scope of the 
article would be most accurately shown by the title, ''The Books 
and Bookmakers of Buffalo." From the first (and the fact is 
not peculiar to Buffalo), the best thoughts, the best presentation 
of facts, the strongest logic, and the most poetic verse, have 
. been written for the newspapers. There is nothing better in our 
local literature than some of the work on the press, read today 
and for the most part forgotten tomorrow. This much of 
recognition to the literary quality of Buffalo journalism is due ; 
and with this bare statement must be dismissed the many works 
of Stirling literary worth which have enriched ,the newspapers of 
this city for three-quarters of a century. ' * 

•Revised and included in this volume at the request of the editor's associates on 
the Publication Committee. — Ed. 






The literary impulse came to Buffalo along with the ax and 
the rifle of the pioneers. The first press was brought here from 
Canandaigua in 1811 by Smith H. and Hezekiah A. Salisbury, 
brothers, and from it was issued, October 3d of that year, the first 
number of Buffalo's first newspaper, the Gazette. With the excep- 
tion of a small paper printed at Batavia in 1807, the Buffalo Gazette 
was the first paper published in New York State, west of Canan- 
daigua. The Salisburys had brought with them a small stock of 
books, pamphlets and stationery, which they liberally advertised 
in the not overcrowded columns of their paper. In the issue of 
November 25, 1811, was advertised "The Child's Catechism, or 
a New Help for Instructing the Rising Generation," etc., " for 
sale by J. Alexander, Minister of the Gospel." It appears as if 
this were printed by the Salisburys, perhaps at Canandaigua; but 
in lack of proof it will hardly do to reckon it as a Buffalo publi- 
cation. In August of the following year the Gazette 2A\^\i\>Md. a 
pamphlet lately issued from its own press, the full title of which, 
as we learn from copies still extant, is as follows: ''Public 
Speeches, delivered at the Village of Buffalo, on the 6th and Sth 
days of July, 1812, by Hon. Erastus Granger, Indian Agent, and 
Red Jacket, one of the Principal Chiefs and Speakers of the 
Senaca Nation, respecting the Part the Six Nations would take 
in the Present War against Great Britain."^ Careful scrutiny c^f 
the Gazette columns does not discover any announcement of any 
pamphlet printed in Buffalo before this. How could the litera- 
ture of Buffiilo more appropriately begin than with the speeches 
of Red Jacket ? 

Three years after the first village had been wiped out by fire, 
the original Buff^ilo Library was organized. It was incorporated 
in 18 1 6 with most of the " prominent citizens" of the i)lace as 
members. It accumulated seven hundred books, and in 1S3S 
was absorbed by the Young Men's Association. Then came tlio 
Buffalo Lyceum, the outgrowth of a suggestion made in 1832 by 
Theodotus Burwell. It gathered a small library and became the 
patron of the first literary perjodical in this part of the land, the 
Literary Inquirer. This journal started in January, 1832. as a 
semi-monthly, at $1.50 per year. It was <* devoted to literature 

*See " The First Buflalo Book," .Appendix of this voUime.— Ed. 






and science," was edited by W. Verrinder, and published at No. 
177 Main Street. With the second volume S. G. Bacon became 
an associate editor, and the patronage of the Buffalo Lyceum was 

The Inquirer \v2iS a good deal of a paper. It aimed, as its 
prospectus said, *' to secure admission into the temple of science, 
the mart of business, and the domestic circle," and it seems to 
have got in. It published original poetry in plenty, also stories, 
and maintained special departments of several degrees of dreari- 
ness. It offered premiums for the best literary contributions, the 
first committee of award consisting of Theodotus Burwell, Dr. 
B. Burwell, G. W. Johnson, D. Tillinghast, the Hon. Millard 
Fillmore, the Hon. James Stryker and O. FoUett. It is a matter 
of deep chagrin that none of the prizes was taken by Buffalo 
writers, though two went to the literary center of Lockport. In 
1834 the'first prize for an original story was taken by S. Stevens of 
Buffalo, afterwards of Newstead, this county. So far as dis- 
covered Stevens was the first writer of stories who lived in Buf- 
falo. The prize narrative was entitled '*The Contrast," and 
was a tale of Canadian adventure. It was a good story, written 
with more regard for style than characterizes the average news- 
paper tale of today. The Inquirer afterwards developed into a 
tri- weekly. 

The earliest writers of Buffalo who went into the business of 
authorship with seriousness were usually clergymen. Ardent in 
the promulgation of their own 'doxies, they delighted in contro- 
versv and argument, whether in pulpit or pamphlet. It is worthy 
of note in passing, that the Buffalo press developed early. Al- 
though, as already noted, the first printing-press was set up here 
in 181 1, the power-press did not come until 1836; yet books, 
well printed and durably bound, were published here several 
years before that date. In 1824 H. A. Salisbury jniblished the 
Apocryphal New Testament in most creditable style. Two years 
before that, in 1822, the same enterprising ])ublisher brought 
forth a big book with the following sutTicient title: "A Reli- 
gious Convincement and Plea for the Bai)tism and Communion 
of the Spirit, and that which is of Material Bread. Wine and 
Water rejected as Jewish Rites ; both unprofitable, and the cause 


of Great Division among Christians ; also some Remarks on the 
Abuse, Use, and Misapplication of the Scriptures, and the Eccle- 
siastical Succession refuted; whereby the Rite to Ordain by the 
Laying-on of Hands is lost; besides not necessary to qualify a 
Gospel Minister." It is not surprising after such a title, to find 

, that the author, one Tallcut Patching, required four hundred and 

fifty-three pages for his long-drawn patch-work. A card at the 
end of his performance, after the fashion of the colophon in 
ancient tomes, informs the reader that ** a copy of this Book may 
be had by applying to the Author at Boston, Erie Co.," showing 
that tbis devout gentleman narrowly escaped being a Buffalo 
author. His work, though, well bound in calf, is greatly to the 
credit of Buffalo's pioneer publisher. It would seem as if, in the 
decade that elapsed between the issuance of Granger's and Red 
Jacket's "Public Speeches" and this work of Patching's, some 

j ' ■ book or pamphlet should have come from Salisbury's press; yet 

j I know of nothing (newspapers excepted) with a Buffalo impriiu 

\ from 1812 to 1822. 

1 Nor do I undertake to say what was the first book of strictly 

j f local authorship. The earliest one learned of after Patching's 

\ \ was a volume of '* Letters, addressed to several Philanthro})ic 

Statesmen and Clergymen, vindicating Civilized and Christian 
. Government, in contradistinction to Un-Civilized and Ami- 
Christian," which rather gratuitous service was performed by 
John Casey, agent for promoting the " Establishment of Peace*' 
societies. The book was printed by Lazell & Francis in Bufialo, 
in 1826. In the same year this firm also published Frederick 
Butler's " History of the United States." 

Dr. Cyrenius Chapin came to Buffalo in 1801, and died in 
1838. In 1836 he wTOte, and D. P. Adams, proprietor of the 
Advocate office at Black Rock, published, a pamphlet review of a 
then recent book, by John Armstrong, entitled " Notices of the 
War of 181 2." Dr. Chapin was a major in that war, and Ann- 
strong* was Secretary of War. Dr. Chapin's little book s;\ys i^i 
the latter's work that it contains "Some truth, some gro-> 
blunders, and many falsehoods." *^rhe work of this early K' 
writer is delightfully fierce, but has its value as a contemporary 
record of those troublous days along the Niagara. 


The Rev. Miles P. Squier, D. D., was installed pastor of the 
Presbyterian Congregation in Buffalo, May 3, 181 6 — the second 
minister of that sect to undertake Gospel work here. He was 
not only a devout man, fitted for hardy pioneer work, but 
possessed literary tastes and ability. Many writers on the early 
days of Buffalo have borne witness to the good and refining 
influences exerted by Dr. Squier, who during the seven years 
and over of his pastorate added one hundred and fifty-eight 
members to the '' Old First." The Rev. Dr. A. T. Chester, in 
a poem read at the semi-centennial of the First Church, thus 
happily referred to this pioneer : 

The past is all thine own ; look back and see 

How graciously thy God hath dealt with thee. 

Pastors have served thee, faithful, pure of blame, 

Worthy to wear that consecrated name. 

Squier, of keen mind and philosophic acts, 

Thy patient shepherd in the days long past. 

Now solves the problem, " Where does ill begin ? " 

Gives God the glory and to man the sin. 

For many years Dr. Squier sent occasional articles to the 
American Biblical Repository, the Bibliotheca Sacra, the Pres- 
byterian Quarterly and Theological Review, the New York Ob- 
server, and the New York Evangelist. As an author he is most 
widely known by the volume — happily referred to by Dr. Chester 
— entitled "The Problem Solved, or Sin not of God," pub- 
lished in 1855 ; and by the larger, more popular and more useful 
volume entitled " Reason and the Bible, or the Truth of Rev- 
elation " published in i860. In 1849 I^^- Squier became pro- 
fessor of intellectual and moral philosophy in Beloit College, a 
post which he held for fourteen years. He died June 22, 1866. 
Since his death many of his lectures and sermons have been 
published, among them being a collection entitled "Ten Lec- 
tures on European Topics, and Lectures at Beloit College." 

There will be no serious effort to be strictly chronological in 
these notes, but rather, to group writers according to the char- 
acter of their work ; and so we turn, at once ^o the following 
passage which John Quincy Adams wrote in his Diary : 

October jg, 1S4J, Buffcjlo : Mr. Fillmore offered us seats in his pew at 
the Unitarian Church, which we accejited. The preacher was Mr. Ilosmer. 
. . . An excellent and eminently practical sermon. 




The Rev. George Washington Hosmer came to Buffalo in 
1836, and was installed pastor of the Unitarian Church (Church 
of Our Father), a post which he faithfully held until 1866, when 
he accepted the presidency of Antioch College, at Yellow 
Springs, Ohio. He died in 1881. The following year his 
children published a memorial volume containing an account of 
his life and a choice collection of his sermons and miscellaneous 
writings, several of the latter being papers prepared for the 
Historical Society. He is well entitled to a place among the 
authors of Buffalo. 

As we look back alv^ng the ranks of earlier years, the form of 
Dr. John C. Lord appears, looming, like Saul, head and shoul- 
ders above his companions. The figure is used in an applied. 
and not a literal sense. It was as a thinker, as a moral and 
literary force, that Dr. Lord was distinguished. Pioneer, 
preacher and poet, there are itw names in our roll of honor wor- 
thier than his. He was pastor of the Central Presbyterian 
Church for thirty-eight years. He gathered what in his day was 
the most valuable private library in Buffalo. All his life long he 
was a great lover of books, almost as Macaulay himself, and he 
was full of information on nearly every subject. He was a rapid 
writer, many of his most eloquent sermons and addresses being 
prepared so quickly that from the pen of a man less thoroughly 
well informed they would have been superficial and uninteresting. 
** He writes rapidly," says Dr. Samuel Johnson, "who writes 
out of his own head," and Dr. Lord was one who had rarely to 
refer to a book after he took his seat at his desk. 

He loved Buffalo. Among his poems, which were published 
in book form in 18.69, he has not forgotten to sound her praises : 

Queen of the Lakes, whose tributary seas 
Stretch from the frozen regions of the North 

To Southern climates, where the wanton hree/e 
O'er flelci and forest iroes rejoicing forth: 

As Venice, to the .Adriatic §ea 

Was wedded, in her brief, but <*lorious day; 
So broader, purer waters are to thee, 

To whom a thousand streams a dowry pay. 


What tho' the wild winds o'er thy waters sweep, 
While lingering Winter howls along thy shore, 

And solemnly " deep calleth unto deep," 
While storm and cataract responsive roar. 

'Tis music fitting for the brave and free, 

Where Enterprise and Commerce vex the waves ; 

The soft voluptuous airs of Italy 

Breathe among ruins and are wooed by slaves. 

Thou art the Sovereign City of the Lakes, 

Crowned and acknowledged ; may thy fortunes be 

Vast as the domain which thy empire takes, 
And Onward as thy waters to the sea. 

In a memorial paper on Dr. Lord,- read before the Buffalo 
Historical Society, April 2, 1877, ^^^ Hon. James O. Putnam 
has given to local history a valuable study of the life, character 
and labors bf Dr. Lord, who was, to quote Mr. Putnam's words, 

for many years a large part of the intellectual, the moral, and, in its best 
sense, the political history of Buffalo. . . . Himself a poet, his fancy 
literally revelled in the imagery of the Hebrew melodists. I doubt if I ever 
beard him preach that he did not invest much of his thought with the poetry 
o\ the Old Testament. 

As illustrating his love for sacred poetry, Mr. Putnam has 
related how he called on Dr. Lord, a few weeks before his death: 

He asked me to read the translation of the Russian Hymn to the Deity — 
a favorite, and a hymn of marvelous grandeur and sublimity. The reading 
concluded, he pronounced it the noblest of modern hymns of praise. I said I 
knew another not unworthy to go with it, and read his own *< Ode to God." 
At the conclusion of the reading, the tears flowing down his cheeks, he said : 
*• It is better than I thought." 

The "Ode to the Deity " is the first in the volume of Dr. 
Lord's collected poetry, written during a period of forty years 
and first published by Breed &: Lent of this city in 1869. It is a 
noble production of eighty-eight lines, the exalted and impas- 
sioned character of which is fairly shown by the following 
fragment : ' ^ 

Millions of eyes, oh God, are gazing out 
Upon Thy works — Who knows them? Who hath found 
The bound of Being? Philosophy, in doubt — 
Explores, irreverent, the eternal round. 


And Reason wanders wide, till she has heard 

The still small voice of Thy revealed word, 

Which unfolds mysteries to her darkened sight. 

And proves, whatever else is wrong — that God is right. 

Several of Dr. Lord's poems, including "The Silent Sorrow 
of the Enfranchised Slave," suggested by the obsequies of Presi- 
dent Lincoln in Buffalo, and the one entitled '* Kings and 
Thrones are Falling," have attained a much more than local 
favor. Of the latter, Mr. Putnam says '*it was hailed on both con- 
tinents as an embodiment of the spirit of the epoch." The 
temptation is strong to quote at length from Dr. Lord's poetry, 
but space will be asked only for the following lines, which not 
only illustrate Dr. Lord's skill as a sonneteer, but constitute a 
graceful tribute to a distinguished citizen whose numerous contri- 
butions to letters are of a high order : 


How often, James, thy thoughts do overleap 

The narrow boundary of our working life, 

Which seems to thee but an ignoble strife, 
Where none do walk upright, but only creep 
To their mean ends; a harvest which to reap 

Demands a hardened heart and sharpened knife, 

A soul with petty, selfish interests rife. 
So gifted men repine ; yet in the deep 

And awful counsels of the Eternal King, 
Our daily life doth make our destiny ; 

For this world's labors no defilement bring 
To him who, faithful in his passing day, 

Knows that its Meeting moments ever fling 
Their lasting shadows on Eternity. 

A volume of Dr. Lord's lectures on the " Progress of Civili- 
zation and Government, and Other Subjects," most of thcin 
delivered before the Young Men's Association of this city, was 
published here in 1S51. It is a good book to read. 

Writing of Dr. Lord recalls another name which should be 
included in this review. FromjS43to 1849 the Rev. Stephen 
R. Smith was pastor of the UnivcVsalist Church of this cit\. 
His spirit and zeal aroused Dr. Lord, who preached vigorou>!) 
against Universalism. This resulted in a lively and prolonged 


controversy between the rival churches, which, " though in 
midst of summer," as is naively remarked in a memoir of Mr. 
Smith, ''called out good houses." A book of over four hundred 
pages, devoted to the life and labors of Mr. Smith, was published 
in Boston in 1852. It was prepared by Thomas J. Sawyer, but 
is largely Mr. Smith's autobiography. 

When the Rev. Albert T. Chester, D. D.,* was installed 
pastor of the North Church, the sermon was preached by the 
Rev. M. La Rue P. Thompson, D. D., then pastor of the First 
Church. His sermon was published in pamphlet form, with an 
appendix of notes in which the controversial points were elabora- 
ted and strengthened. The title of the sermon was " The Office 
of a Bishop." This drew out from .the Rev. Montgomery 
Schuyler, then rector of St. John's, a series of lectures, preached 
to his own congregation, asserting and vindicating the Episco- 
pal ideas of church order. These lectures were published here 
in a little volume entitled, "The Church: Its Ministry and 
Worship." No sooner had it appeared than Dr. Thompson, 
who was a doughty champion of parity as against prelacy, girded 
himself for an onslaught upon Schuyler, and within the space of 
a very few weeks prepared a volume which bore the same title 
that Schuyler had given to his volume — "The Church: Its 
Ministry and Worship." It was a book of between three hun- 
dred and four hundred pages, and was a clear and vigorous piece 
of writing. Dr. Thompson, in his preface, by way of apology 
for the length of his argument, says "he didn't mean it, and he 
couldn't help it." He was a man who was not accustomed to hold 
his hand when engaged in controversy; and the evidence of this 
is to be seen in many caustic passages of the volume under 

But not all the local writings, even of the early days, were 
theological and controversial. Masonry, anti-Masonry, Spirit- 
ualism, and Phrenology were subjects of the day fifty years ago 
which bred books in many a Western New York town. In 1S39 
J. Stanley Grimes, a famous disciple of Gall and Spurzheim, and 
president of the Western Phrenological Society, sojourned at 
Buffalo and published here his " New System of Phrenology." 

♦Died Aug. 7, 1S92. 



In the same year R. W. Haskins, A. M., brought out here a 
*' History and Progress of Phrenology." He subsequently j^ub- 
lished numerous scientific and philosophical works, a school 
text-book on astronomy, critical essays, etc.; he was a man 
ahead of his generation ; but the annals of science preserve his 
name with honor. ^ A wave of Fourierism, too, was early 
felt. Albert Brisbane, a man of wealth and genius, came 
here from Batavia. With his brother George he built the 
Arcade, t and owned that profitable property for many years. 
In 1S40 he published a work named "Social Destiny of 
Man; or Association and Reorganization of Industry." It 
is an exhaustive presentation of the doctrines of Fourier ; 
any one who tries to read its five hundred pages today will 
find it not only exhaustive but exhausting. In 1843 ^^^• 
Brisbane published a second work, ''Association; or a Concise 
Exposition of the Practical Part of Fourier's Social Science." 
= In recent years he was much abroad, making occasional visits to 

Early in the '30's Oliver G. Steele was publishing well-pre- 
pared guide-books to Niagara Falls, and other similar works. 
From Steele's press in 1837 came "A Canadian Farmer's Travels 
in the United States," by Robert Davis. Six years later A. W. 
Wilgus published an interesting book entitled ''Letters from 
Van Dieman's Land, written during five years' imprisonment for 
Political Offenses committed in Upper Canada," The author 
was Benjamin Wait, who became practically a resident of Buf- 
falo, though his family home was just across the Niagara River. 
The " Rochester Rappings" brought forth several local ]Kim- 
phlets, which are now historical curiosities rather than contrilni- 
tions to literature. 

I In that imperial path of letters, the writing of history, Buffa- 

lonians have always walked with honor. At the Madisonian 
office in Washington, D. C, in 1839, Samuel Wilkeson* pub- 
lished "A Concise History of the Commencement. Progress and 
Present Condition of the American Colonies in Liberia." Thi> 

j now rare work is very valuable as a fecord of facts relating to 

j *For more extended notice of Mr. Haskins's works, see ante, pp. 257-284. 

■ fBurned Dec. 14, 1893. Site now occupied by the Mooney & Brisbane building. 


negro emigration from the United States to Liberia, and relates 
the first efforts made in that direction under Paul Cuffee in 1815. 
Several years later another Buffalo writer turned his attention to 
this subject. In 1852 W. L. G. Smith wrote, and Geo. H. 
Derby & Co. of this city published, '* Life at the South, or 
Uncle Tom's Cabin as it is, Being Narratives, Scenes, and Inci- 
dents in the real Life of the Lowly." Mrs. Stowe's ''Uncle 
Tom's Cabin " had. appeared as a serial in the National Era 
in 1851 and '52. Mr. Smith's book drew a far happier picture* 
of negro slave-life in the South than did Mrs. Stowe's great work. 
The Buffalo author's main idea was Liberia. ''Disinterested 
philanthropy," he wrote, " looks to the amelioration of all con- 
ditions, and the enlightenment of all classes of society ; and al- 
though the lot of the slave may be regarded as the lowest in the 
scale, stijl the candid-minded in every section of our country, 
indulge the hope that the day will yet come when the descend- 
ants of Ham will be gathered together in the land of their ances- 
tors, and Liberia, in God's time, take its position among the 
independent states of the world." How times have changed 1 

W. L. G. Smith was a notable figure in the ranks of Buffalo 
authors. He was a well-known aU:orney here for a number of 
years. Besides the work above mentioned he wrote " The Life 
and Times of Lewis Cass," a bulky octavo of nearly eight hun- 
dred pages, published in New York in 1856. He was afterwards 
appointed United States Consul to Shanghai, and in 1863 pub- 
lished an interesting volume of "Observations on China and the 
Chinese," which he dedicated to the Hon. Lewis Cass. 

The names of Ketchum, Turner and Marshall constitute a 
trinity of chroniclers whose work is the standard, each in its 
field ; although in the appreciation of historical perspective, and 
the literary use of material, the last-named is immeasurably 
superior to the two first mentioned. William Ketchum's 
" History of Buffalo and the Senecas," in two volumes, was 
published in Buffalo by Rockwell, Baker & Hill, in 1S64. This 
work, which was dedicated to the Hon. Millard Fillmore, Presi- 
dent of the Buffalo Historical Society, grew dut of an historical 
notice of the Six Nations of Indians. So attractive did Mr. 
Ketchum find the Indian material that he devoted the whole of 



the first volume to it, as well as a considerable part of the second 
volume. He brings the history of Buffalo down to the close of 
the War of 1 812. Several writers have covered the recent years, 
none more reliably than Mr. Crisfield Johnson, whose "Centen- 
nial History of Erie County" (1876) is unsurpassed in its class 
of histories. Mr. Johnson is also the author of a work entitled 
''The One Great Force." 

O. Turner's ''Pioneer History of the Holland Purchase" 
and his history of the Phelps & Gorham Tract cover a period of 
local history with which no other narrative so thoroughly deals. 
The former work, published here in 1849, ^^ ^'^ authority on 
ancient remains, on the Confederated Iroquois, and the transac- 
tions of the Holland Company. A brother of the author, Mr. 
Chipman P. Turner, formerly of Black Rock, was also a writer of 
pamphlets on local history. Unlike Mr. O. Turner, Mr. 
Ketchum was long identified with Buffalo as a resident. 

Orsamus Holmes Marshall was a historian whose name ranks 
with those of Parkman, Schoolcraft and Bancroft. Not that his 
work rivalled theirs in scope, but what he did he did as well as 
they. He was born in Connecticut in 181 3, and died in Buffalo 
in 1884. He was admitted to practice law here in 1834, and 
was a prominent member of the bar until his relinquishment of 
practice in 1867. His son lately said of him to the writer: 
" My father was a lawyer, not a professional writer"; yet he 
gained a wide reputation as the historian of the aboriginal 
inhabitants of Western New York. He could follow an Indian 
trail — in musty documents and traditions — as his personal tViend, 
Red Jacket, could in the woods. He did a welcome service in ]nit- 
ting in modern narrative form the records of the early French ex- 
plorers, and in correcting their errors. Many of his writings were 
prepared for the Buffalo Historical Society. Since his death they 
have been collected, and were published in 1SS7 i^"* book-furm 
by his son, Mr. Charles D. Marshall, with an introduction b>- 
Mr. William L. Stone. Mr. Marshall's work is conspicuous alike 
for its accuracy and for the charm of its unadorned but pure and 
delightful diction. - * 

The historical publications of the late Hon. Lewis F. Allen. 
if collected, would make a valuable book. Mr. Allen's labors as 


originator and editor for forty years of the Short-Horn Herd 
Book must have mention. So, too, should his writings on 
arboriculture, drainage, and kindred subjects. Here may also 
be mentioned Gen. James C. Strong's book," Wali-kee-nah and 
her People," a study of North American Indian customs and 
traditions, particularly as observed by the author among the 
tribes of the Columbia River; and *'The Iroquois and the 
Jesuits," by the Rev. Thomas Donohoe, D. D. (1895.) 

It is impossible to speak of the writings of all of our citizens 
who have contributed to the literature of local history. The 
publications of the Buffalo Historical Society contain valuable 
papers by the Hon. Millard Fillmore, the Hon. Lewis F. Allen, 
the Hon. James Sheldon, David Gray, William Hodge, Wm. 
Clement Bryant, Charles D. Norton, O. G. Steele, James L. Bar- 
ton, Nathaniel Wilgus, the Rev. S.Falk, Joseph Dart, Col. William 
A. Bird, Ismar S. Ellison, Guy H. Salisbury and many others 
who have made substantial contributions to our local literature. 
Miss Jane Meade Welch, William Horace Hotchkiss, Frederick 
L. Shepard and others in recent years, have contributed carefully 
prepared historical and descriptive articles to the magazines. 

There are many books by Buffalo writers on events connected 
with the Civil War. Capt. Orton S. Clark wrote a '' Complete 
History of the ii6th Regt., N. Y. Vols."; Maj. George H. 
Stowits chronicled, in a well-illustrated volume, the " History 
of the looth Regt., N. Y. Vols."; "What I Saw and Suffered 
in Rebel Prisons," is a graphic and pathetic narrative, written 
by Sergt. Daniel G. Kelly, of the 24th N. Y. Cavalry. Kelly 
was an East Aurora boy ; his book was published in 1866, the 
Rev. Anson G. Chester, then military agent at Buffalo, furnish- 
ing the introduction. A number of patriotic songs by Sergt. 
Kelly are not the least valuable part of his little book. 

Here too should be mentioned Gen. A. W. Bishop's "Loy- 
alty on the Frontier," incidents and adventures in the Rebellion 
on "The Border." At the time of the publication of this vol- 
ume, which appeared in St. Louis in i^6^, the author, now a 
well-known attorney of Buffalo, was Lieut. -Colcmel of the ist Ar- 
kansas Cavalry Volunteers. Among Gen. Bishop's more recent 
publications, special mention should be made of his political 


pamphlet entitled " What is the Situation Now?" in which he 
replies at length to the statements contained in a work entitled 
'*\Vhy the Solid South?" complied by Hilary A. Herbert, 
afterwards Secretary of the Navy. The latter work is really an 
account of affairs in the South during the Reconstruction period, 
written from the Southern point of view. The civil reorganiza- 
tion of the South after the War was a work calling, in its way, for 
patriotism and even individual bravery not inferior to the quali- 
ties demanded by warfare. Many a man who to the Southerner 
-was a" much-reviled ''Carpet-bagger" was as devoted in his 
loyalty to country in the discharge of duties incident to civil 
reconstruction — duties usually undertaken amid countless em- 
barrassments — as were the generals who led our troops to battle, 
and is equally entitled to grateful remembrance. In the work 
"What is the Situation Now?" Gen. Bishop replies to some of 
the statements in the Southern-compiled book, so far as they 
apply to the State of Arkansas. He was Adjutant-General of 
that State from the time of the organization of a loyal Govern- 
ment in 1864 till 1867 and was afterwards president of the 
Arkansas Industrial University, one of the monuments of the 
despised " Carpet-bag " rule. The nature of his answer to Gov. 
Fishback of Arkansas in "Why the Solid South?" may be 
judged by a single reference. Mr. Fishback referred to the 
economy of the " Democratic " Government of Arkansas from 
April iS, 1S64, to October i, 1S66. Gen. Bishop says : "The 
Government. of the State of Arkansas, for the period -from April 
18, 1S64, to October i, 1S66' — Mr. Fishback's two and one-half 
years — was not under Democratic rule at all. It was the Gov- 
ernment of the Union men of the State, and was organized under 
and in pursuance of President Lincoln's proclamation of Decem- 
ber 8, 1S63, for the reorganization of Civil Governments in the 
seceded States." The work has an importance far beyond its 
size, in that it shows the unrehability of the " Solid South" 
book, which was particularly addressed to Northern readers. 

In the holiday season of 1886-7 was published an admirable 
book, entitled " Recollectk)ns of a Private in the Army of the 
Potomac." W. D. Howells compared it to Tolstoi's war 
stories. The author was a well-known "Buffalo Boy," Frank 



Wilkeson. J. Harrison Mills, soldier, artist and author, wrote 
a voluminous work, entitled '' Chronicles of the 21st Regiment, 
New York Volunteers," in the ranks of which regiment the 
author was wounded. His book, published in 1863, has had 
several editions. 

One of the most thrilling episodes connected with slavery 
was the killing of the Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy by a pro-slavery 
mob, at Alton, 111., on the night of Nov. 7, 1837. Mr. Henry 
Tanner of this city was not only an intimate associate of Mr. 
Lovejoy, but was an eye-witness of the tragedy. The terrible 
story is thrillingly told in Mr. Tanner's book, ''The Martyr- 
dom of Lovejoy," published in Chicago in 1S81. 

James K. Hosmer, A. M., late professor of English and 
German literature in the Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., 
now Librarian of the Minneapolis Public Library, is a son of the 
late Rev. Dr. Hosmer of this city, whose literary work has 
already been noted. The son grew up in Buffalo, and is by no 
means a stranger here now. He graduated at Harvard in 1S55, 
and entered the ministry, but on the outbreak of the Civil War 
went to the front as a private in the 52nd Regiment, Massachu- 
setts Volunteers. He remained with that regiment, in the 
ranks, declining a place on the staff of Gen. Banks, and accept- 
ing, as a friend has written, " no preferment save a place in the 
forefront of peril, as one of the corporals intrusted with the 
defense of the col»rs of his regiment." This service ushered 
him into a career in letters. His first book, " The Color 
Guard " (1S64), is one of the best War books ever published. 
Its popularity is attested by the worn condition of several copies 
in the Buffalo Library. The Boston Advertiser called it " the 
counterpart of Dana's ' Two Years Before the Mast.' " " Th^ 
Thinking Bayonet" appeared in 1865. He has also written a 
**Life of Samuel Adams," in Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 's excel- 
lent "American Statesmen " series ; a forerunner of this work 
was Prof. Hosmer's " Samuel Adams, the Man of the Town- 
Meeting," published in the Johns Hopkin^ University series of 
"Studies in History and Political Bcience."* In 1879 Prof. 
Hosmer brought out "A Short History of German Literature." 
Among his more recent works are a " History of the Jews," in 



Putnam's "Stories of the Nations" series; a biography of Sir 
Henry Vane; **Ho\v Thankful was Bewitched," a romance of 
*' Queen Anne's War "; and '' The Life of Thomas Hutchinson, 
Royal Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay." 

To the list of Buffalo's War authors should be added the names 
of Cyrus K. Remington (author of ''A Record of Battery I., 
otherwise known as Wiedrich's Battery," etc., " The Ship Yard 
of the Griffon," etc.), and C. W. Boyce, whose chief work is 
**A Brief History of the 28th Regiment, New York State Volun- 
teers," etc., published in 1896. 

Several Buffalo writers have won distinction in peculiar fields 
of literary research. Edward P. Vining, the son of George 
Vining, a former music-teacher of this city, is the author of a 
scholarly and laborious work, entitled ''An Inglorious Colum- 
bus," published in 1885. In this big book the author gives 
evidence that Hwui Shan and a party of Buddhist monks from 
Afghanistan discovered America in the Vth Century, A. D. Mr. 
Vining is also the author of "The Mystery of Hamlet — an 
Attempt to Solve an Old Problem." This work, which is ded- 
icated to H. H. Furness, the eminent Shakspearean scholar. 
argues that the feminine element in Harnlef s nature is the secret 
of his mysterious behavior. Buffalo has another Shakespearean 
student, Mr. George Alfred Stringer, whose compilations. 
"Shakespeare's Draughts from the Living Water," and -'Leisure 
MoBients in Gough Square," are well known. The latter book 
is a collection of the beauties and quaint conceits of Johnson*'-" 
Dictionary, and is prefaced by an agreeable essay on the Great 
Cham of Literature. 

If we turn to biography, we again find Buffalo 
both subjects and authors. The best biography of the Lite 
President Fillmore was written by Ivory Chamberlain of i!^> 
city. The best biography of President Cleveland, at least i:- 
some essential respects, was written in 18S4, by the late IT :■• 
William Dorsheimer, a former resident of this city. Mr. D"r- 
sheimer had known Mr. Cleveland ever since the latter first cm. " 
to Buffalo, and was well- acqu'ain tad with the events of his h:^ 
here. Upon his title-page Mr. Cleveland is described as " th.- 
model citizen, eminent jurist, and efficient Governor ot li- ' 





Empire State," and Mr. Dorsheimer is designated as **the 
bosom friend and chosen biographer" of Mr. Cleveland. Mr. 
Dorsheimer was a strong and picturesque writer. Mr. Deshler 
Welch, a Buffalo man of reputation in metropolitan journalism, 
has also written a creditable biography of President Cleveland. 

''The Life and Times of the Rt. Rev. John Timon, D. D., 
first Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo," by 
Charles G. Deuther, is in all respects a Buffalo book. Bishop 
Timon was Bishop Ryan's predecessor. He organized the 
Catholic church in this city, and spent the last twenty years of 
his life here. Mr. Deuther prepared his biography with much 
thoroughness and accuracy, and gave to his work considerable 
literary quality. The book was published by the author in 
Buffalo in 1870, and remains the standard life of this eminent 
prelate, as the Rev. Patrick Cronin's " ^lemorial of the Life and 
Labors of Rt. Rev. Stephen Vincent Ryan," etc. (1896) is the 
final and satisfactory life of the second Catholic Bishop of 

Mr. George J. Bryan has contributed to local history and 
biography in his volume entitled " Biographies and Journalism," 
published in 1886. In 1849 ^^'^^ Bryan wrote and O. G. Steele 
published a " Life of George P. Barker." 

Beyond question the most distinguished author whom Buffalo 
has claimed as a resident was Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe. 
His literary labors extended over sixty ye^rs. Appleton's 
" Cyclopaedia of American Biograj^hy " enumerates twenty 
works of which he is author or editor, and the list there given is 
incomplete, for since that sketch was prepared he published a 
course of college lectures entitled " Institutes of Christian His- 
tory," and perhaps other works not now recalled. 

As an author, Bishop Coxe was distinguished first of all as a 
poet ; second, as a historian, an expositor and expounder of 
doctrinal truths ; third, as a controversialist, especially in refuta- 
tion of the claims and arguments of Roman Catholicism. He 
published several volumes of poems before receiving ordination, 
in 1S41. One of these, "Athwold," appeared in 1S38, and 
a few years since was again brought out in an enlarged edition 
after suppression for forty years. In 1840 he published his best- 



known volume of poems, the ''Christian Ballads," reprinted in 
Oxford, and running through many editions since. In a recent 
revised edition the author says that the Ballads " were produced 
and published for ephemeral circulation, and with no anticipa- 
tion of the favor with which they have been constantly demanded 
in successive editions in Europe and America." Again he says 
that they were not designed as religious poems in the proper 
sense, but they were intended to show that there are natural rela- 
tions between genuine religion and good taste. There is much 
interest in his account of the purpose and reception of this worl:: 

It is gratifying to observe the progress of our civilization and the improve- 
ment of the popular taste in art ; but the author must beg his readers to remem- 
ber that many things which are now familiar to everybody in America, were 
wholly unknown among us when these Ballads were produced. Their autlior 
was obliged to imagine much that may now be seen in almost every part of the 
land. When he wrote them there was not a church in the country which 
could 'sustain any other than the most moderate pretensions to architecuiral 
correctness in design or decoration. He had never seen more than a few panes 
of stained glass in a church window, nor heard a complete chime of bells; nml 
there was not to be seen on this continent, so far as he is informed, an oyxw 
roof or a well-defined chancel, or genuine aisles, or a nave with a clere-stt-ry. 
P'loral decorations were almost unknown, and children were not provided 
with a single carol. It has often been asserted by generous critics, like \hc 
late Dr. Croswell, that the publication of the Ballads contributed largely i.> 
introduce the change in popular taste; but the author is well aware that !i> 
ow^n delight in such things was the product, in a great measure, of wliat 1 'r 
Croswell and Bishops Doane and Hopkins and Dr. Muhlenberg, with otiicr- 
that might be named, had been doing before. From the progressive future : e 
anticipates a great reduction in the popularity of his verses. They will nil t> 
please when what is now agreeable in fancy becomes common in fact ; and .: 
is the height of his ambition with regard to them, that they may yet do .-oir.c- 
thing to hasten the time when they will be quite superfluous. 

The Ballads have gained rather than lost popularity. 
place in American literature has long been secure. The r.:-- 
ediiion enjoyed an entirely imexpected success. It brought t'» 
the writer, he tells us, kindly greetings and pleasant letters i'r.>:n 
many parts of the world. -In foreign travel it opened his^^.l^■ 
to cottages and to castles ; he fot»nd it on the shelves of Kt"J' 
boys, and in the rooms of grave fellows of the Universities. !:• 
Ireland he was presented with a curious series of imitations ■•! 


** Dreamland," some grave and some comical; and of Scotland 
and Wales he owed some of his happiest recollections to inci- 
dents connected with the circulation of the Ballads,- in several 
forms. To Count Tasca, the eminent poet and patriot of 
Northern Italy, he was indebted for the introduction of several 
of them to his countrymen, in spirited translations; and the 
Count de Montalembert has unwittingly connected a stanza 
from one of them with a work which will be ever memorable in 
the history of the French Empire. In his famous philippic 
*' Un Debat sur V Inde an Parle ment Anglais,'' the Count intro- 
duced a historical relation, carrying with it a stinging reflection 
on the contrast between the state of things in England and in 
France, concluding with a quotation of Bishop Coxe's stirring 
lines : 

'• Now pray we for our country, 

That England long may be 
The holy and the happy, 

And the gloriously free ! " 

The Count told how he had heard 40,000 English children 
sing a song of which the refrain was a literal version of Bishop 
Coxe's verses, little imagining that this refrain was taught them by 
an American, ''whose affection for the Motherland might have 
furnished the French Emperor with another salutary reflection 
upon the pow^ of English Christianity and civilization over 
many who owe no subscription to the English Crown." 

Of the poems included in the Christian Ballads, several are 
widely current among Christians of many denominations. The 
" Hymn of Boyhood," '' St. Sacrament," and " The Chimes of 
England " are among the favorites; while no Christmas composi- 
tion rivals in favor the " Carol " beginning 

Carol, carol, Christians, 

Carol joyfully ; 
Carol for the coming 

Of Christ's nativity. 

" The Ladye Chace," a ballad, edited by Erancis Philip Nash 
(editions of 1837 and 1877), aimed, for the first time apparently 
in our country, to carry the reader back to the fields of old Eng- 
lish history. It was an enthusiasm inspired by Bishop Percy's 


"Reliques" that led the author of ''The Ladye Chace " to 
attempt a song of Alfred, only to relinquish it for this more 
dramatic story of Edgar. The poem is founded upon the facts 
of King Edgar's marriage with Elfreda. 

Of Bishop Coxe's prose works, several are famous in the history 
of church literature. His ''Apology for the English Bible " (1S54) 
ultimately led to the suppression of new and crude revisions 
which had been brought out by the American Bible Society. 
" Anglican Orders " was a series of papers originally contributed 
to the Paris journal Union Chretienne ; " An Open Letter to 
Pius IX." (1869), in answer to the brief convoking the Vatican 
Council, was translated into many languages, and had wide cir- 
culation in Europe; "■ V Episcopat de r Occident,'' published 
in Paris in 1872, was a new presentation of the history of the 
Church of England, and a refutation of Roman Catholic attacks. 
In 1873, ^^ collaboration with Bishop Wilberforce and others, 
he engaged in a serial publication, issued at Oxford, in defense 
of Anglo-Catholic principles against either extreme. He took 
an active part in opposition to the New Testament revision. 
Among his many writings should be mentioned, if by title onl\, 
" Sermons on Doctrine and Duty " (1855), "Thoughts on the 
Services" (1859), and " ApoUos ; or, the Way of God " (1S73). 
Besides these, and several other volumes of verse, he published 
ftiany tracts, editions and translations of foreign works, lectures, 
pamphlets on special occasions, etc. 

A unique product of his pen is " The Bible Rhyme : a Lesson 
for Old and Young," published in Philadelphia by Lippincott 
and in Buffalo by Martin Taylor, in 1873. Here is a sample oi 
this easily-memorized version of Scriptural truth : 

Saints Matthew, Mark, Luke and John 
Tell what Christ did for Adam's race; 

The Acts the Holy Ghost make known ; 
The Romans how we're saved by grace. 

Among the later literary labors of Bishop Coxe was the 
editing, with large additions and notes, of an American edit:o:'i 
of the Edinburgh "Translations of the Ante-Xicene Fathers." 
edited by Drs. Roberts and Donaldson. 


Several resident Catholic clergymen have combated Bishop 
Coxe. The late Bishop Stephen Vincent Ryan of the Diocese 
of Buffalo, on one memorable occasion entered the lists. His 
work is entitled : " Claims of a Protestant Episcopal Bishop to 
Apostolical Succession and Valid Orders Disproved, with Various 
Misstatements of Catholic Faith and Numerous Charges Against 
the Church and Holy See Corrected and Refuted." This work 
was published in 1880. 

In an article like the present one, there is no offense in 
allowing extremes to meet. It was all very well for Bishop Coxe 
to put Bible truths in rhyme, but where shall we class an author 
who produces a city directory in verse? Such a bard there was 
in the humble person of the Hon. James Torrington Spencer 
Lidstone, who came to Buffalo, bringing his name with him, 
about 1850. In 185 1 he published, under '' universal patronage," 
'* The Queen of the West," announcing himself, with probable 
truthfulness, to be ''the first that ever attempted to publish a 
poetical directory for any town or city, in any age or clime of 
the world." A few samples are absolutely necessary for an 
appreciation of this work. Under the address of a plumber's 
I firm we read : 

This eminent firm all others now surpass 
As house-plumbers, fitters-up of gas. 
* Gas fixtures here of every style and grade, 
They have on hand or are to order made. 

He paid his respects to many citizens in rhyme ; declared the 
Hon. E. G. Spaulding 

As good a man as ever lived along 

Lake Erie's realm, or graced a poet's song, 

and "wound his horn " for David Bell in this inspiring strain : 

Vulcan in Norton Street doth dwell, 

Here all his powers reside, 
And Neptune gets from Mr.Bell 

His works to stem the tide. ' 

The Hon. J. T. S. L. seems to have been unable to "hire a 
hall," for his muse complains : 


I've pealed my anthems thro' your Western skies, 
And sung your worth and public enterprise, 
But candor prompts the orator to say 
That his was disappointment from the day 
He set his foot upon your shores; to know 
You had no public halls in Buffalo. 

Once more only will we exhibit this later Ossian of '-'the 
teeming West " in the act of pealing his anthem. Hear him as 
he sings of that familiar Main Street landmark, "■ Gothic Hall " : 

Hail, wonder of tfie West 1 thou Gothic Hall, 
That for classic splendor rivals all 
The buildings reared, or towers that sent 
Their heights to heaven, from off this continent. 
I thought assembled Congress bid thee rise 
Instead of private din and enterprise. 
Thy architecture, grandest and the best 
Of all the regions of the teeming West; 
In this emporium pyramids of clothes arise 
Made in the world's best manufactories. 
Speak out, my muse, in strong and truthful lays 
All made within the last 3 months or 90 days. 

Gothic Hall has long been o'ertopped by greater building's, 
but no singer has yet o'ertopped the author of Buffalo's only 
poetical directory. 

There is rarely to be met with, nowadays, a little volume, 
published here in 1854, entitled *' Poems written during His 
Early Professional Years, by the Hon. Jesse Walker," with a 
brief notice of the author by the Rev. Montgomery Schuyler. 
Jesse Walker was an early Judge of Erie County, a native of 
Vermont, who in 1835 moved to this city, where he died in 
1854. His verses were mostly written during the first years of 
his professional life ; though not of a high order, they never 
descended to doggerel, and usually adorned and preserved some 
historic incident or Indian romance. One of Judge Walker's 
poems is *' Tehoseroron " (the Indian name for Big lUitTalo 
Creek), beginning: 

O beautiful and^softly^lowing river, 

The gentlest of the torrent's daugluers, 
Departed hath the forest-child forever 
From the green margin of thy waters. 


And now the green margin has departed too. *' Loves of 
the Lakes" was a poetical address spoken by Judge Walker at 
the opening of the Buffalo Theater, June 22, 1835. Other of 
his compositions best entitled to remembrance are ^' The Hero 
of the Plague" and the ''Self-Devoted," verses full of noble 
sentiment, gracefully expressed. 

The poets, like the poor, are always with us — often the poor 
poets seem to predominate. But Buffalo can lay claim to an 
astonishingly large number of writers whose work, if not great, 
has been genuine — true sentiment, purely expressed. Probably 
in no other field of letters are there so many local names worthy 
of mention and remembrance. "Beautiful Snow" has been 
claimed as a Buffalo production, the work of Henry W. Faxon, 
for some years city editor of the Republic. Faxon's friends remem- 
ber that he greatly admired the poem, and one of them used to 
relate how Faxon on one occasion produced a manuscript copy 
of it from his hat, and recited the lines w^th ever-to-be-remem- 
bered fervor ; but in lack of more positive proof, the writer 
concludes that James W. Watson, and not the Buffalo genius, 
wrote the famous poem. 

Buffalo's first literary journal, the Inquirer, fostered the 
muse ; but more generous nursing was given by the Western 
Literary Messenger, a "family magazine of literature, science, 
art, morality, and general intelligence," which was begun as a 
semi-monthly quarto sheet in 1842. Jesse Clement was its 
editor from the start, and contributed some of the best things to 
its columns ; especially good were Mr. Clement's early poems. 
A work which he brought out in 1851, "Noble Deeds of 
American Women," with an. introduction by iVIrs. Sigourney, 
was (and is) widely popular. At first J. S. Chadbourne was 
associated with Mr. Clement as editor of the Messenger, the 
office of publication being at No. 159 Main Street. The 
Messenger flourished for many years, developing into a weekly, 
and finally into an octavo monthly, under Mr. Clement's care. 
It was the most creditable literary periojiical, all things con- 
sidered, that Western New York has" ever supf)orted. Even in 
its earlier years it numbered among its original contributors N. 
P. Willis, Alfred B. Street, J. T. Headley, Mrs. Child, John S. 






C. Abbott, J. K. Paulding, James T. Fields, and C. P. Cranch. 
It was worthily followed, in a more restricted field, by the 
Home, established in 1856 by Mrs. H. E. G. Arey, published by 
E. F. Beadle. This publication, '' a fireside monthly companion 
and guide for the wife, mother, the sister and the daughter," 
maintained a high standard from the first. Mrs. Arey, a woman 
of thorough culture and strong poetic gift, now resides in 

In 1856 Mrs. Mary k. Dennison, then editing the Lady s 
Enterprise, and also connected with the Olive Branch, of 
Boston, came to Buffalo to reside, her husband, the Rev. C. W. 
Dennison, having been chosen pastor of the Niagara Street 
Baptist Church.* No one welcomed Mrs. Dennison more cor- 
dially than the editor of the Home, for which her pen was soon 
enlisted. In 1859 Mrs. Arey and Mrs. C. H. Gildersleeve be- 
came the editors of the Home Monthly, which was the Home 
enlarged. Notable among contributors were Mrs. Sigourney, 
Virginia F. Townsend, Prof. J. VV. Barker (killed by a street-car 
on Niagara Street a few years ago), Mrs. Dennison, and Miss 
Mary A. Ripley. The poems of Mrs. Arey and Miss Ripley 
have been gathered into volumes. 

Mention of Mrs. Gildersleeve must include one interesting 
reminiscence relating to local authorship, recalled by John 
Wallace Hutchinson in his account of that famous singing family 
entitled "The Story of the Hutchinsons." These singers, who 
were frequently in Buffalo in ante-Rebellion days, made popular 
the country over the song, " Mrs. Lofty and I." In his book 
John VV. Hutchinson speaks of this song as though it were first 
sung by the troupe at Madison, Wis., but soon after Abby 
Hutchinson, who was then in Buffalo, brought it out and made 
it popular. Judson Hutchinson composed the melody. '* The 
words were placed on my melodeon," writes John, ** and while 
he stood at my side with his violin and made the tune, I accom- 
panied him. The words of the song were written by Mrs. Gil- 
dersleeve Longstreet of Buffalo^" This was in 1S57. Mrs. 
Loiigstreet is remembered by many (Jld residents as Mrs. C. H. 

* On Niagara Square. From iSSi-'Sg the building was known as the First Ci 
gregational Church ; it is now called the People's Church.— Ku. 


Gildersleeve. Her husband was for some years principal of No. 
lo School, and was a man of literary taste and skill as a writer. 
In recent years Mrs. Gildersleeve Longstreet made her home in 
New York City. Many readers know her through her capital 
War story, ''Remy St. Remy, or the Boy in Blue." A few 
years ago she published a book entitled " Social Etiquette in 
New York." Many of an earlier generation, even in Buffalo, 
have no doubt sung that now-old song without knowing that a 
Buffalo woman wrote it for beautiful Abby Hutchinson to sing. 
The first stanza is as follows : 

Mrs. Lofty keeps a carriage, so do 1 ; 

She has dapple grays to draw it, none have I ; 

She 's no prouder with her coachman than am I, 

With my blue-eyed, laughing baby, trundling by. 

I hide his face, lest she should see the cherub boy and envy me. 

Buffalo has had many song-writers, whose work deserves con- 
sideration in a paper specially devoted to so pleasant a subject. 
Was not the city made famous half a century and more ago by 
Ed. P. Christey's '* Buffalo Gals " ! During the past fifty years 
many a clever Buffalo pen has made life more cheerful with its 
songs ; none more conspicuously and usefully so than that untir- 
ingly wielded by the late Everett L. Baker, teacher of music in 
our schools since 1850 (regularly from 1863 to 1895). He was 
both poet and musician. His first school song was given to 
School No. 10 in 1850; an uncounted number followed it. 
When he died one a;ppreciative chronicler wrote : '*Mr. Baker 
is believed to have written or composed more school songs to 
gladden the youthful hearts and minds than any other man." 
His field of authorship extended beyond this, and includes many 

(anthems and other sacred pieces, and a graded series of music 
books, extensively used in the public schools of the country. 
But we were speaking of dead-and-gone literary journals of 
Buffalo ; and this is as good a place as any to mention — and they 
must be dismissed with mere mention — the Earnest Christian, 
begun in i860. B. T. Roberts, A. M.,' editor; \\i^ Herald of the 
Truth, begim by W. T. Horner, in 1S62 ;* Our Leisure JA?- 
ments, begun in 1S70, edited by Albert C. Ives and F. S. Dellen- 
I baugh ; the Gi\\^e, an illustrated magazine of literary record and 



criticism, begun in 1S74, with W. C. Cornwell as editor and 
cartoonist, and A. M. Sangster, A. N. Samuels, and other local 
artists as contributors ; Every Saturday, a weekly journal edited 
by Deshler Welch, was born in 1878, aimed high, missed the 
mark, and died in T879: Bohemia, by H. W. Raymond and 
A. G. Bigelow ; the Modern Age, an eclectic conducted by 
James S. Metcalfe ; and the Wyoming Literary Monthly, after- 
wards called Literature, published by C. W. Moulton and C. A. 
Wenborne, shared the common fate. Still others there have 
been, of demise so recent that it were better not to particularize, 
lest fresh grief be stirred anew. Carrie F. Judd's Triumphs of 
Faith, begun in 1881, Queries, and Our Record were enter- 
prises which found prosperity. The latter journal, published by 
the managers of the Home for the Friendless, was begun in 1S69, 
Miss Gardner being its first editor. Among the contributors to 
Our Record h^^ve been Mary E. Mixer, whose writings on histor- 
ical and miscellaneous subjects are of merit, and Julia F. Snow, 
one of the few residents of this city who has the gift of writing 
worthily and attractively for children. Other Buffalonians who 
have in recent years won success as writers for the young are 
Margaret E. Carr, Mrs. L. A. Bull and Dr. A. L. Benedict. 

In speaking of the early literary enterprises of Buffalo several 
writers have been mentioned who were members of Buffalo's 
once famous literary coterie, the ''Nameless." In this club, 
which was started about 1850, and flourished for a dozen or more 
years, were many entitled to enrollment among the authors of 
Buffalo: Jerome B. Stillson, James N. Johnston, Wm. Clement 
Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Gildersleeve, Charles D. Marshall, 
Josiah Letchworth, William P. Letchworth, and other lovers and 
patrons of letters ; Guy H. Salisbury, — a name and memory, as 
was said in an obituary of him, September 5, 1S69. '* invested 
with something of the charm that lingers behind the gentle 
*Elia'"; Charles E. Morse, who in his best days wrote s6ngs 
which read like some of Moore's Irish ballads; John Harrison 
Mills, of whom James N. Johnston, president of the club in 
1865, wrote: " He seems equally at Home in sculpture, poesy 
and painting. His bust of Abraham Lincoln, his poem of 
'Booths,' and his twin pictures, 'A Dream of Lite.' each are 


masterpieces of conception and composition," Of the ladies in 
the Nameless were Miss Mary A. Ripley (to whose memory the 
Ripley memorial library at the Women's Educational and Indus- 
trial Union is a worthy monument), for a quarter of a century 
Buffalo's most beloved school-teacher, the author of " Exercises 
in Analysis and Parsing," which has had several editions, and of 
a volume of poems which includes that patriotic gem (of which 
Frank Wilkeson was the unnamed boy-soldier), " I thought the 
Country Needed Men "; and Amanda T. Jones, one of the most 
gifted of our local writers, whose published works include "Ulah, 
and Other Poems" (1861), "Poems" (1867), and "A Prairie 
Idyl and Other Poems " (1S82). 

William B. Wright is a name dear to many a Buffalonian. 
'*He was the most of a man who ever lived here ! " said recently, 
one who knew him well. Mr. Wright was a physician here for 
some years, and later taught languages in the State Normal 
School — and an ideal teacher he was, too. He died some years 
ago at Atlanta. In 1868 he published "Highland Rambles," 
following it in 1873 with " The Brook and other Poems" ; not 
pretentious verse, only 

Chance stalks of Song, for which no ploughshare ripped 

The belly of the glebe, of which the seed 

No planter measuring out his careful pace 

Sowed through the chinks of the quick-swinging palm, 

But rather random-strewn by grace of wind 

On pastures where the Fancy loved to browse. 

Of David Gray as a poet, entirely adequate tribute and record 
will be found in the two-volume publication of his "Life and 
Letters," edited by J. N. 'Larned. The working years of Mr. 
Gray's life were given to editorial work on the Courier. He 
had a high ideal of newspaper work, and gave freely of his 
strength, of body and mind, to meet its exacting demands. Yet 
he found time, for he had the gift, to write as good poetry as 
any Buffalonian has jwritten. Mr. James F. Gluck has pub- 
lished a memorial of Mr. Gray, a, paper originally prepared for 
the Historical Society. 

The Alice Gary of Buffalo is Carrie F. Judd (Mrs. Mont- 



gomery) for years the devoted promulgator of the society called 
'■' Faith Cure." She has published two or three volumes of poetry, 
one novel, " Zaida Eversey, or Life Two-fold," and much evan- 
gelical literature. The animating principle of her life inspires all 
of her work ; but her verse has merit aside from its exalted moral 
tone. Her works have had many editions in many languages. 
Her first volume of poems, *' Lilies from the Vale of Thought" 
(1878), was written between her 14th and 19th birthdays. 
Many another local writer of verse must be dismissed with 
the mere naming. A cyclopaedia of Buffalo poetry should in- 
clude, besides the work of those named, that of Celia Sealey 
("Echoes from the Garret," 1861), Mary J. McCoU (''Bide a 
Wee and Other Poems," 1880), Mary L. Hall ("Live Coals," 
1878), Emily B. Lord, Mrs. L. N. Todrig, Harriet E. Benedict, 
Mrs. Emily Thatcher Bennett, Antoinette Haven, Matilda 
Stewart, Charlotte L. Seaver, Katherine E. Conway, Agnes 
Shalloe, Mrs. James F. Gluck and Julia Ditto Young. Mrs. 
Bennett {nee Benton) passed her childhood here. Her literary 
work, which began with the writing of verses in a Buffalo 
school, includes many poems and essays on Masonic, natural 
history, juvenile, and other topics. For years she was a 
valued contributor to the Independent, the Christian Union, 
the Masonic Review, Sunday-school and other publica- 
tions. Few, if any, local writers have deserved warmer praise 
than that given by Edmund Clarence Stedman to the work of 
Miss Annie R. Annan. " Bessie Chandler," whose verse, praised 
by Howells, lends charm to many a page of the Century, St. 
Nicholas, and other publications, is the talented wife of Mr. 
Leroy Parker, a well-known attorney of this city. 

There have been, and still are, many writers of good verse 
among the men of Buffalo, as citations made in this article have 
already proved. Augustus Radcli ffe Grote, a former Director 
of the Museum of Natural Sciences, contributed to the Athntic 
Monthly, Evolution, and other literary and scientific publications. 
Li 1S82 at the Cheswick Press, London, was j^ublished a sumptu- 
ous little parchment-bound volunTe etXitled "Rip Van Winkle. 
a Sun Mvth and Other Poems," by Mr. Grotc. The principal 



poem uses the thread of the story of Rip Van Winkle to connect 
reflections on the various stages of human life as influenced by 
the seasons, by youth and old age. It first appeared in Evolution 
in 1877. The ''Poems and Swedish Translations" by Dr. 
Frederick Peterson, which appeared in 1883, during his resi- 
dence here, are exquisite specimens of idyllic verse. The Rev. 
J. Hazard Hartzell, formerly of Buffalo, in 1884 published his 
collected poems under the title " Wanderings on Parnassus." 
Thomas S. Chard published a volume of verse, including 
** Across the Sea," " The Seven Sleepers," and '' A Legend of 
St. John and the Blessed Vale." The Rev. Anson G. Chester 
is a writer whose verse has found favor with Scribner' s Monthly, 
(predecessor of the Century Magazine) and other desirable 
media. James W. Ward, author of' the descriptive text for 
Sangster's " Niagara," perpetrated several years ago an amusing 
production, ''The Song of Higher-water." "That it is after 
' Hiawatha,' " apologizes the author, in his preface to the New- 
York edition (1868), "is apparent enough; as a matter of fact, 
just three days after, that length of time having intervened be- 
tween the appearance of that charming and popular poem and 
the reading of this production to some of the author's friends." 
Mr. Ward was then residing in Cincinnati, the locality of the 
events relating in his poem, which narrates a thrilling episode 
not infrequent 

In the town where swine are slaughtered. 

The Rev. Patrick Cronin, editor of the Catholic Union, has 
written many sterling poems ; so has Joseph O'Connor, formerly 
of the Courier, now editor of the Enquirer ; while the names of 
Arthur W. Austin, Allen G. Bigelow, Walter Storrs Bigelow, H. 
Chandler, the Rev. Benjamin Copeland, George Hibbard, Henry 
R. Howland, William Mcintosh, Robert Cameron Rogers, the 
Hon. Rowland B. Mahany and Irving Browne cannot be omitted. 
Mr. Browne's learning and versatility have made him the author 
not only of much clever verse and many delightful essays, but 
of erudite law-books as well. One of theni, entitled " Elements 
of the Law of Bailments and Common Carriers," has the follow- 
ing wise and witty dedication : 





Omar, who burned (if thou didst burn) 

The Alexandrian tomes, 
I would erect to thee an urn 

Beneath Sophia's domes. 

Would that thy exemplary torch 

Might bravely blaze again, 
And many manufactories scorch 

Of book-inditing men ! 

Especially I'd have thee choke 

Law libraries in sheep, 
With fire derived from ancient Coke, 

And sink in ashes deep. 

Destroy the sheep — don't save my own — 

I weary to the cram, 
The misplaced diligence I've shown — 

But kindly spare my Lamb. 

And spare, oh, spare this suppliant book 

Against a time of need ; 
Hide it away in humble nook 

To serve for legal seed. 

The man who writes but hundred pages 

Where thousands went before, 
Deserves the thanks of weary sages. 

And Omar should adore. 

It is said that this dedication so pleased Judge Bennett, Dean 
of the Boston Law School, that he offered, and Mr. Browne 
accepted, the desirable position of lecturer in that school, made 
vacant by the death of Charles Theodore Russell, a post which 
Mr. Browne's many years of service as law lecturer abundantly 
qualified him to fill. Mr. Browne is also librarian of the Buffalo 
Law Library ; it was recently recorded of him that he had 
" compiled, edited and written more than two hundred law 
books."* . ' ^ 

♦ For further account of some local verse-makers, see " The Poets and Poetr>' of 
Buffalo," edited by Ina Russclle Warren, being Vol. VI., No. i of "The Magazine of 
Poetry," Buflfalo, n. d. (1895)— Ed. 



It is not possible — and if it were possible, it would not be 
profitable — to write of all the romancers of Buffalo. A few of the 
more notable will suffice. The fame of Anna Katharine Green 
(Mrs. Charles Rohlfs) rests not alone upon her novels, but upon her 
poems as well. In the common acceptation of the term Miss 
Green — to use her maiden name, which she retains for all her 
literary work — is probably the most '* popular" writer who has 
ever lived in Buffalo, not excepting Mark Twain, whose short 
residence and journalistic career in this city entitle him to at 
least remembrance in this review. She was born in Brooklyn, 
in a house opposite Plymouth Church. Her father, an attorney 
well remembered here, came to Buffalo when she was a child, the 
family home being on Pearl Street between Swan and Seneca. 
In evidence of her early literary predilection it is related that 
when eleven years old Miss Green and a playmate wrote a paper 
called ** The Lily of the Valley," the privilege of reading which 
was extended to their schoolmates at five cents a turn. A copy 
of that early production is now cherished by the playmate of 
former days, a well-known lady of this city. Miss Green's first 
mature efforts at authorship were the poems bound in the volume 
called ** The Defense of the Bride." This work did not attract 
particular attention and the author turned her attention to 
fiction, selecting the kind in which plot and situation predom- 
inate, perhaps because of her love for the solution of mathemat- 
ical problems. '* The Leavenworth Case," which appeared in 
1878, at once lound great favor both in this country and Europe. 
Its author had raised the sensational detective story to a literary 
level, and found her reward in a wide audience of cultured 
readers. '*A Strange Disappearance " was published in 1879, 
and ** The Sword of Damocles " in iSSi. A volume of her poems, 
edited by Rossiter Johnson, appeared in 1S82 and was well 
received. *'X. Y. Z." and ''Hand and Ring " followed in 
1883, " The Mill Mystery " in 18S6, and ♦' 7 to 12 " in 1S87. 
*' Risifi's Daughter," a dramatic poem — considered by the 
author her best literary work — was also published in 1887, iri 
which year the author returned to Buffalo with*lier husband and 
children, and here her home has since been. ** Behind Closed 
Doors " and others yet more recent, are widely fimiiliar. Sev- 


eral of her books have been translated and had many editions in 
various languages, "The Leavenworth Case" and " Hand and 
Ring" leading in popularity. 

Among our other writers of fiction, past and present, should 
be noted Mrs. E. B. Perkins, formerly Susan Chestnutwood, 
whose successful novel, '' Malbrook," was published by Carleton 
in New York and S. Low & Sons in London, in 187 1. This, 
and her second story, "■ Honor Bright," published in Buffalo in 
1883, have well established her reputation. ''Doctor Ben, an 
Episode in the Life of a Fortunate Unfortunate," appeared in 
Osgood's ''Round Robin Series " in 1882. The pseudonym of 
" Democritus, Jr.," is said to stand for the Rev. Orlando With- 
erspoon, a former pastor of St. John's Church. " Bond and 
Free," a tale of slave times, is by James H. W. Howard, late 
editor of the State Journal at Harrisburg, Pa. Mr. Howard 
passed his boyhood in this city, and was a pupil in the old Vine 
Street Colored School. More recent are the novels, some of 
them of much merit, of Mrs. Julia Ditto Young, Mrs. Ida W. 
Wheeler, Elbert Hubbard, Wm. T. Hornaday and Robert 
C. Rogers; while Marion Wilcox, Sylvia J. Eastman, George 
Hibbard, Louise Worthington, Katharine Hartman (/jv//^/. /), 
and a host of others have won success — or that substitute 
for it, a market — in the short-story line. Not to be over- 
looked is the collection of juvenile tales entitled " Legends from 
the Red Man's Forest," by Dorothy Tanner (Mrs. Henry E. 
Montgomery) of this city. Mention of Mr. J. H. W. Howard 
recalls the creditable work of another Afro- American, at one 
time resident in Buffalo, the Rev. C. W. Mossell, some-time 
missionary in Hayti, whose recently published volume " Tous- 
saint L'Ouverture ... or Hayti's Struggle," is a painstaking 
and valuable chronicle. 

A long list of residents of this city have published books 01 
travel. In Mr. Henry E. Perrine's charming volume, "A True 
Story of Some Eventful Years in Grandpa's Life," printed (^not 
published) in 1SS5, we have- a ^well-made book of over three 
hundred pages. Mr. Perrme had traveled much before he came 
to live with his uncle in Buffalo in 1840. He was admitted ti^ 
the bar in 1S4S, but soon after set out for California by way ot 





Cape Horn. The story of this long voyage, of Mr. Perrine's 
experiences with other 49'ers in the California gold fields, and of 
subsequent travels and experiences, is most interestingly told. 
** It is largely due to the fact," says Mr. Perrine, "that both 
children and grandchildren have so many times said, ' Papa,' or 
'grandpapa,' 'tell me a story — tell me the story about the 
Indians ! ' that the idea became developed that there was really 
enough of interest in those experiences to warrant placing them 
in print for the amusement and perhaps the benefit of others." 

In 1837 there came to Buffalo an eccentric man of roaming 
disposition named Thomas L. Nichols. He engaged in news- 
paper work, writing for the Commercial Advertiser and the New 
York. Herald 2i\-\d established the short-lived Buffalonian. Con- 
victed of libel on H. J. Stow, he was sentenced to four months 
in the Erie County Jail. He served his term, spending his time 
in writing a " Journal in Jail," which was published in 1840. 
It is a curious volume of two hundred and fifty pages, containing 
enough libelous matter, seemingly, to have kept the author be- 
hind bars for the rest of his life. It is a rare book nowadays. 
Nichols seems to have led an erratic career for many years there- 
after. In London in 1864 he published an ambitious work in 
two volumes entitled *' Forty Years of American Life." It is 
an interesting and for the most part well-written book, now 
valuable for the pictures it presents of a state of things in the 
United States now passed away. It contains many pages of 
Buffalo reminiscence. Nichols traveled widely and described 
everything from Government institutions to mint juleps. In the 
closing chapter he gives the following quite adequate bit of 
biography : 

At the beginning of 1S61 I commenced the publication of a weekly news- 
paper in New York. One number was issued before the attack on Fort 
Sumter and when it was hoped and believed peace would be preserved. But 
the perfidious Government at Washington, while promising to evacuate that 
fort, was preparing an expedition for its relief. The sailing of that expedition 
brought war and my lilerarj' enterprise was nipped in the bud. I did not issue 
a second number. If I had done so it is not likely tiiat it would have reached 
many readers. 

Not every writer who has sojourned in Buffalo may be claimed 
as a Buffalo author ; but it is well to record that Charles A. Dana 


and H. H. Bancroft, the historian of the Pacific Coast, both 
lived in Buffalo in their youth. 

The late Charles Linden published a pleasant *' Narrative of 
an Excursion in Eastern Florida," of prime interest to the 
naturalist. ^'A Woman's First Impressions of Europe, being 
Wayside Sketches in 1863," dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Henry 
W. Rogers, was written by Mrs. E. A. Forbes, for many years a 
teacher at the Buffalo Female Academy. A charming and highly 
diverting book is the *' Travels of the Du Le Telle Family," by 
** Thankfulla " — a series of familiar letters by Mrs. John C. 
Lord. Mention should also be made of *' Saunterings in 
Europe," by the Rev. Charles Wood, formerly pastor of the 
Central Presbyterian Church; of ''My Holiday; How I 
Spent It," by James N. Matthews, and of Grace Carew Sheldon's 
European sketches, '• As We Saw It in '90." A one-time Buf- 
falonian, a very successful story-writer and special correspondent. 
John R. Spears, is the author, among other works of travel, of 
*' The Gold Diggings of Cape Horn," probably the most thorough 
and trustworthy book in our language on that little-visited region. 

The itinerancy of the Methodist Episcopal Church has sent 
to Buffalo many a minister who has left his print in literary 
paths. Foremost of this class is Bishop John F. Hurst, who for 
many years has been extensively occupied with literary lal)ors, 
especially in the reproduction of the works of the best German 
authors in English translations. He has translated Hagenbach's 
*' History of- the Church in the XVIIIth and XlXth Centuries " 
(2 vols., 1869); Van Oosterzee's " Lectures in Defense of John's 
Gospel" (1869); Lange's '' Romans " (1870) ; and Seneca's 
** Moral Essays." His original works include "History of 
Rationalism " (1S65); '' Martyrs to the Tract Cause " (1S73) ; 
" Outlines of Biblical History " (1S73) ; '* Life and Literature 
in the Fatherland" (1874); ''Our Theological Culture," 
" Bibliotheca Theologica " and "A General History of tliC 
Christian Church," upon which great work he was engaged dur- 
ing his Buffalo residence. WhiJe resident here he also contri- 
buted to Harper' s Magazine a serfes of illustrated articles o\\ 
travel and work in the Orient, since republished in book-form. 
Few more scholarly men than Bishop Hurst have ever resided 
i here. His latest literary achievement is the discovery, at Genev.i, 




Switzerland, of the unpublished MS. journal of Capt. Wm. 
Pote, Jr., kept during his captivity in the French and 
Indian War, 1745-47. The volume, edited by Bishop 
Hurst, is pronounced *'by far the most valuable of all recent 
discoveries on the period of our Colonial history to which it 
relates." His successor as resident Bishop in Buffalo, Dr. John 
H. Vincent, has probably done more, as editor and author, for 
Sunday-school literature, than any other living man. He is the 
author of a History of Greece, and author or editor of much 
Chautauqua literature. 

Other Methodist clergymen whose books are well known are 
the late Rev. Dr. J. B. VVentworth, one-time Presiding Elder of 
the Buffalo District, whose profound "Logic of Introspection " 
was published in 1886; the Rev. Dr. George E. Ackerman, 
former pastor of St. Mark's M. E. Church, who has written 
" Researches in Philosophy " and " Man a Revelation of God"; 
and "Religious Corporations," " A Handbook for Trustees," 
and especially the valuable "History of Buffalo Methodism," 
by the late Rev. Dr. Sanford Hunt. 

From first to last, our clergymen have been among the pro- 
ductive bookmakers. Among works of clerical authorship, not 
already named, the following have been learned of: " Histori- 
cal Sketches and Incidents illustrative of the Establishment and 
Progress of Universalism in the State of New York," by the Rev. 
Stephen R. Smith; "Some Lessons from the Parable of the 
Sower," by the Rev. J. P. Egbert; "The True Man and Other 
Practical Sermons," by the Rev. S. S. Mitchell; "Dogma no 
Antidote for Doubt," by James H. Fisher; "Both Sides, or 
Jonathan and Absalom," by the Rev. Dr. Rufus S. Green ; 
"Handbook of Charity Organization," by the Rev. S. Hum- 
phreys Gurteen ; " Complete System of Sunday-school Instruc- 
tion," by the Rev. Orlando Witherspoon ; various writings by 
the Rev. A. T. Chester, and two works by the Rev. J. H. Lan- 
gille, one on ornithology, "Our Birds in Their Haunts," the 
other entitled "Snail-shell Harbor, a Picture of Life on the 
northwest coast of Lake Michigan." 

The last-named writer might well be included with local 
authors on natural history subjects, for he is a devoted naturalist, 
and during his pastorate in Buffalo was a most delightful lecturer 


before the Society of Natural Sciences. That little coterie has 
had its share of authors, including Mr. Grote (who was as much 
of a social scientist as he was a naturalist and poet), Carl Linden, 
James W. Ward, and others already named ; Prof. D. S. Kelli- 
cott (formerly of the State Normal School here, now of the 
Ohio State University, Columbus), and Edward P. Van Duzee 
of the Grosvenor Library, on entomology; Dr. Julius Pohlman, 
on geology and other specialties; W. H. Pitt, James Locke 
(Assistant-Professor at Heidelberg, translator of Menschutkin's 
''Analytical Chemistry" ); David F. Day, on botany, and the 
Hon. George W. Clinton. 

Judge Clinton was a diligent student of many subjects outside 
of his profession of the law. His early taste for natural history 
was never extinguished. He wrote interesting and valuable 
papers on " Fish and Fishing," and upon *' Animals and Hunt- 
ing." An English author calls him ''The Isaak Walton of 
America. ' ' He shared in founding the Society of Natural Sciences 
and wsLS its president for many years. Numerous papers and ad- 
dresses emanated from his pen upon such subjects as agriculture. 
. canals, manorial tenures, Indian traditions, etc. In addition to 
occasional addresses and papers, which would fill many volumes. 
Judge Clinton published, from i860 to 186S, a "Digest of 
Decisions at Law and in Equity from the Organization of the 
State to i860." At the time of its issue this was by far the best 
treatise of its kind, and still holds its place as a standard work. 
In his declining years Judge Clinton edited the valuable collec- 
tion of the Governor Clinton Papers which are in the State 
Library at Albany.* 

Contributions to literature — even to the literature of the law 
— by members of the bar in Buffalo are not numerous. Perhajjs 
the State Papers of Millard Fillmore and of Grover Cleveland as 
Governor and President, should be recoornized, thoucrh this sul)- 
jects the word "literature" to a considerable strain. A num- 
! ber of Buffalo attorneys, including some of the younger ones, 

have j)repared for the meetings pf the Cleveland Democracy liis- 
torical and biographical sketches of merit, but an enumeration oi 
them cannot be made here. They have been collected in two 
volumes. Many of the public addresses and speeches of the late 

*See the memoir of Judge Clinton by David F. Day, pp. 203-225 of this volume.— Hn. 






William Dorsheimer are valuable contributions to the history of 
our times, notably the address delivered at Waterloo, September 
3, 1879 J ^^ ^^^ celebration to commemorate the expedition under 
the command of Gen. Sullivan, against the Six Nations in 1779, 
and at the dedication of the Oriskany monument August 6, 1884. 
For the most part the recent writings of Buffalo lawyers have 
been of an inconspicuous though worthy order, like E. Corning 
Townsend's work on ''The Statute of Distribution," John G. 
Milburn's '' Beginnings of Society," and various addresses and 
papers, notably on literary subjects, by E. Carlton Sprague, 
Sherman S. Rogers, John C. Graves and James F. Gluck. 
Sheldon T. Viele has written a good biography of the Hon. 
Henry K. Smith, the second Recorder of the City of Buffalo, the 
friend of Martin Van Buren, William L. Marcy and other 
Democratic leaders. Judge H. K. Smith himself was a rare 
literary student, though he left but one published address, a 
funeral oration on Captains Williams and Field, heroes of 
Monterey. Among recent works of Buffalo lawyers are "The 
Law of Public Health and Safety," by Leroy Parker and Robert 
H. Worthington, said to be the only treatise ever published in 
this country on the relation of the laws to public health and 
safety; " A System of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology," 
by R. A. Witthaus and Tracy C. Becker, with the collaboration 
of August Becker, Dr. Roswell Park, F. P. Vandenbergh and 
others; a work by James F. Gluck and August Becker on 
** The Law of Receivers of Corporations," one by Charles 
P. Norton on bills and notes ; and the able editorial work of W. 
W. Browne on an edition of the Court of Appeals. 

The writings of Le Grand Marvin will probably never bring 
the name of that eccentric gentleman into works on American 
literature, or even into the cyclopaedias;, but they will always 
remain as unique productions of a unique pen. In many a 
lawyer's library are treasured up the Marvin pamphlets entitled, 
'* An Expose, etc., being a Wife's Attem[)t, by Aid of Her 
Merchants, to control (subdue?) her Hnsband, and the Resu-lt "; 
** The Result? Unmarried (if ever married !),*Un lassoed," etc.; 
and " Le Grand Marvin Interviewed." Mr. Marvin imitated 
no one in his literary style, and so far as known, no one has 
succeeded in imitatini: him. 



Perhaps our younger lawyers are deterred from writing, as is 
said (no doubt wrongly) to have been the case with one 
scholarly attorney who has laid aside an unfinished work on 
railroad law because, if published, judges may in future cite the 
author's own work to his detriment in important cases 1 

More than one citizen of Buffalo, while discharging the 
duties of high public office, has contributed to the literature of 
statecraft. Conspicuous is the Hon. E. G. Spaulding's financial 
history of the War entitled " History of the Legal Tender Paper 
Money issued during the Great Rebellion, being a Loan without 
Interest, and a National Currency," an octavo of three hundred 
and seventeen pages, published in Buffalo in 1869. Mr. Spauld- 
ing was chairman of the sub-committee on Ways and Means at 
the time the Act relating to the currency issue was passed. He 
justly wears the title of *' The Father of the Greenback." Mr. 
Spaulding has also published pamphlets on other financial and 
economic themes, speeches in Congress, etc. A noteworthy 
printed address is entitled " One Hundred Years of Progress in 
the Business of Banking," delivered by Mr. Spaulding at the bank 
officers' and bankers' building, Exposition Grounds, Fairmount 
Park, Philadelphia, on the occasion of its formal opening, May 
30, 1876. Here, too, should be mentioned the financial pam- 
phlets of William C. Cornwell, "The Currency and the Bank- 
ing Law of the Dominion of Canada," " Greenbacks," etc. 

The citizen of Buffalo who is oftenest called upon to repre- 
sent the culture and public spirit of this community is the Hon. 
James O. Putnam. As Government official, as State Senator, as 
diplomatic representative of our Government abroad, he has 
proved an able and efficient public servant. A published volume 
of his "Orations, Speeches, and Miscellanies" gives proof oi 
the scope of his public services, of his devotion to the welfare 
of his country and the city of his home, and of the rare 
catholicity of his culture. 

J. N. Larned's most conspicuous literary work is his monu- 
mental " History for Ready -Reference," in five volumes. 
Among his other publications are " Report on the State of Trade 
Between tiie United States and the British Possessions in North 
America," prepared for the Secretary of the Treasury (Washing- 



ton, 1871), "Talks about Labor," etc. (1876), and a history of 
the Buffalo Library. 

In no field of authorship has Buffalo given the world better 
service than in the field of medicine. The names of Austin 
Flint, father and son, of Hamilton, White and Gay, lend an 
undying luster to our city's crown. Flint's " Principles and 
Practice of Medicine" (of which more than 50,000 copies have 
been sold), the younger Flint's "Physiology of Man " (5 vols.); 
and Frank Hastings Hamilton's "Medical Surgery and Hy- 
giene" and "Fractures and Dislocations" (a work of 1,000 
octavo pages !) are standard works of their kind. There are 
many books on specialties by these writers ; valuable pamphlets 
by Dr. Charles C. F. Gay ; while of Dr. James P. White's 
published papers, the librarian of the Buffalo Medical College 
has enumerated fifty-six in one list ! Dr. White was also the 
autlior of Chap. VI. of Beck's "Elements of Jurisprudence," 
Vol. IL (nth Ed., Phila., 1S60.) 

Many of our surgeons and physicians are authors. Among 
recent publications in this field are Dr. William D. Granger's 
" How to Care for the Insane" ; pamphlets on insanity by Dr. 
J. B. Andrews ; published addresses by Dr. Thomas F. Roches- 
ter, Dr. F. R. Campbell's "The Relation of Meteorology to 
Disease," and his recent comprehensive work, " The Language 
of Medicine." In 1883 G. P. Putnam's Sons published "An 
Ethical Symposium," a series of papers concerning medical 
ethics and etiquette viewed from a liberal standpoint. The 
book contains an able chapter by Dr. H. R. Hopkins of Buffalo 
entitled " Is it a Profession or a Trade ? " Professional publica 
tions, more or less elaborate, .have come from the pens of Drs 
W. W. Potter, Elmer Starr, George E. Fell, A. R. Davidson 
M. B. Mann, and others ; while specialists W. C. Barrett 
Lucien Howe, and F. Park Lewis have made conspicuous con 
tributions respectively to the literature of dentistry and eye 

There still remain to note a consider^jble list of works in 
many classes. Mr. Henry Spayth stands master ofa unique field of 
science and letters in his "American Draught Player." Origin- 
ally published in 1S60, it has had several editions. It is claimed 


to be the first successful attempt to reduce the game of checkers 
to a system. A work that attracted attention at the time of its 
appearance in 1862 was Thomas J. Sizer's book, '' The Crisis — 
Its Rationale," in which he considered '^ our National forces the 
proper remedy, and restoration of legitimate authority, the end 
and object of the War." A. R. Grote's '' The New Infidelity " 
(1881), and Dr. J. H. Dewey's " Introduction to the Theosophy 
of the Christ," are in many libraries. Joseph Willsey's pains- 
taking and useful compilation known as '*' Harper's Book of 
Facts" may not be overlooked. Willis O. Chapin's sumptuous 
volume, "The Masters and Masterpieces of Engraving," 
delights alike the art student and the bibliophile. Countless 
thousands of households have Dr. Ray V. Pierce's " People's 
Common-sense Medical Adviser. J. C. Bryant's " New Stand- 
ard Counting-house Book-Keeping," an octavo of 300 pages. 
and his " Business Man's Commercial Law and Business Forms 
Combined" are standard contributions to the text-books of 
business. The Rev. Solomon Kohn, one-time pastor of the Jew- 
ish Congregation Beth El, is an author on subjects connected 
with oriental literature. The Rev. C. L. Hutchins, assistant 
rector of St. Paul's in 1870, compiled a Church Hymnal. The 
Rev. Dr. Sheldon edited a valuable work entitled '* The Three 
Reformations." The Rev. Charles R. Edwards is the author, 
among other works, of an elaborate and highly original defense 
of Christianity, entitled '* Chris-to-lution." 

The following enumeration must close our list, which further 
inquiry would no doubt lengthen : H. R. Howland, " Primitive 
Arts and Modes of Life " and other archceological papers ; Henry 
Klein, " Rudiments of German Etymology"; E. C. Pomeroy. 
'^Introductory Reading-book " and " Spelling-book " ; G. H- 
Thornton, "The Modern Stenographer"; W. H. Slocuni. 
"Autograph-list of Word-signs and Phrases" ; A. G. Bigelow, 
" Hints on Preparing Copy and Proof-reading" ; Alexander F. 
Oakey, "The Art of Life and the Life of Art," being No. 4^^^ 
of the "Franklin Square Library"; J. Berry, "A Parsinu- 
book";Ed. H. Mulligan, " Abridgeti Infantry Tactics " ; Dr. 
F. Bradnack, "Dr. Case's Handbill." a satire. There is goud 
humor in "An Anijola Incidt-nt — ihe Tale of a Handkerchief in 


Very Blank Verse," by Wm. VV. Kent. **The Bumont Tragedy, 
by a Buffalonian," must stand without any further definition. 
Charles H. Harris ('' Oof T. Goof") wrote a " History of the 
Venango Oil Regions " in 1866. Elmore H. Walker followed 
I it ill 1868 with ** The Pennsylvania Coal Fields, and their Con- 

nection with and Relation to Buffalo." Eben P. Dorr wrote of 
''The First Monitor and its Inventor"; W. H. Beard, the 
famous artist, once a Buffalo resident, has enriched both^rt and 
literature with his incomparable book, " Humor in Animals"; 
J. S. Buell is the author of "The Cider-Makers' Manual," 
Deshler Welch of ''The Bachelor and the Chafing Dish," and 
Mark S. Hubbell of a "History of the Buffalo Race Course." 
James W. Greene wrote " Free Niagara," a compact historical 
sketch. "Niagara in London," written and beautifully printed 
in Buffalo, treats of Niagara Falls in historical and descriptive 
fashion. It was sold at the Cyclorama of Niagara in London ; 
and copies of it were sumptuously bound and inscribed for 
presentation to Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales — a 
unique honor for Buffalo. There even abides in Buffalo a gen- 
tleman who writes dime novels ; but since he has never associated 
his own name with this branch of his work — using so many 
noms de plume that he has forgotten most of them — it is but 
fair to leave him to his lucrative line of letters unidentified, like 
a later Junius. 






It is fitting that the frontispiece of this volume should be a portrait of the 
late Protestant Episcopal Bishop of Western New York. For many years he 
was the most distinguished active member of this Society, as indeed he was, 
by many standards, the most eminent citizen of ButTalo. His membership in 
the Socit'y dates nearly from its establishment. Until advancing years 
interposed obstacles, he took a lively interest in its work, shared in the club 
meetings and on at least one occasion entertained the Society with an his- 
torical paper. This was during the War, his subject being the relations of 
I>Jorth and South. Unfortunately, the paper is not filed with the Society. 

Arthur Cleveland Coxe was the son of the Rev. Samuel Hanson Cox, the 
son adopting an older form of the family name than that borne by the father. 
He was born in Mendham, N. J., May lo, iSiS. ?Iis parents moved in 1S20 
to New York, where he received his early education and training. His father 
was a distinguished preacher of the Presbyterian faith, and a descendant of a 
missionary of Colonial days of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 
Under the influence of maternal relations, the future bishop became an adherent 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He graduaied from the University of New 
York in the class of 1S3S, then attended the General Theological Seminary of 
the Episcopal Church, where he completed his studies for holy orders in 1S41. 
He was ordained deacon, June 27, 1841, and priest Sept. 25, 184.2. Shortly 
after ordination to the diaconate, he took charge of St. Ann's Church, 
Morrisania, N. Y.; from 1842 to 1S54 he was rector of St. John's Church, 
Hartford, Conn. In the last-named year he became rector of Grace Church, 
Baltimore, Md. ; in '63, of Calvary Church, New York City; soon thereafter 
he was made Assistant Bishop of Western 2^^ew York. He was consecrated 
in Trinity Church, Geneva, N. Y., Jan. 4, 1S65, and on the death of Bishop 
DeLancey, April 5, 1S65, he succeeded as the second Bishop of Western 
New York, He died July 20, 1S96, and is buried at Geneva, N. Y. 



In 1868 he gave assent to the formation of a new diocese, and Central 

' New York was committed to other hands. When he began his episcopal 

I administraton, the Diocese of Western New York covered a territory twice the 

size of the present one, taking in twenty-nine counties of the State. There 

are fifteen in the territory now covered by the episcopal authority of the 

i Bishop of Western New York. Prior to 1838 the whole of New York State 

; constituted but a single diocese. At the date named the Diocese of Western 

1 New York, comprising also the present Diocese of Central New York, was 

set off. Since then there have been other divisions, so that there are now five 

dioceses in the State, New York, Long Island, Albany, Central New York 

and Western New York. 

The growth of the Episcopal Church in Western New York during the 
years of Bishop Coxe's episcopate has more than kept pace with the growth in 
j population. The present diocese is larger in the number of adherents to the 

i Episcopal Church, is wealthier in the amount of property held by its parishes, 

and is more influential in every way than the diocese over which Bishop Coxe 
was called to take charge, which was twice the size of the present diocese. 
; In 1868 there were sixty-nine resident clergy and seventy-six parishes. In 

1890 there were reported 123 resident clergy and 133 parishes. In 1S6S the 
families in the diocese connected with the church' numbered 6,296, while in 
1890 they numbered 16,699. ^^^ value in church property in 1S6S 
was about $1,000,000. In 1890 it was placed at $2,353,051. Making allow- 
ance for the three years previous to 186S and the increase during 1S90, it is 
safe to say that the value of the property now is nearly three times as much as 
it was thirty years ago when Bishop Coxe came to the charge. 

No effort is made here to speak adequately of his work in the rrunistry or 

; in the councils of his church. This is a matter of abundant record elsewhere. 

Something has been said in this volume (pp. 355-35S) of Bishop Coxe as an 

author; and much has been said, in many and conspicuous ways, of the acts 

and the qualities which made him a leader of religious thought. A very great 

part of his work, especially in later years, was specifically directed to the 

furtherance of Christian unity. A memorable event in our local annals was 

I the celebration, Jan. 3, 1890, of the 25th anniversary of his consecration. A 

j memorial volume is now, it is understood, in preparation, in which the full 

1 story of his long and devoted life will be fitly told. 



Recognition should be made in these Eublications of the service rendered 
to the Buffalo Historical Society by the Rev. Alt)ert Bigelow. He was Cor 
responding Secretary, Librarian and Treasurer for the Society from March 11, 
1S79, to iSSi, editor of Yols. Land II. of its Publications, and compiled with 

i I 




much care one of the principal papers contained in this volume. His labors in 
behalf of the Society were conscientious and valuable, and are held in grate- 
ful remembrance. 

Albert Bigelow was born in South LeRoy, Genesee Co., N. Y., Oct. II, 
1827, and came to Buffalo with his parents, Samuel A. and Maria M. Bigelow, 
in the fall of 1830. The family at first lived on Pearl Street between Seneca 
Street and the Terrace until driven out by the " great fire " of 1832. In 1837 
they moved to a brick house which Samuel A. Bigelow had built on the west 
side of Niagara Street, second dooc south of Georgia — the first brick dwelling- 
house between Main Street and Black Rock. The house is still standing. 

His earliest proclivities were musical. At 10 he ^ang alto in the "Old 
First," and at 18 was leader of the choir. Music continued to be one of the 
delights of his life. He taught music in the early 40's at the Buffalo Orphan 
Asylum, of which institution he was for a time secretary. He studied law; 
but deciding upon the ministry as a life-work, entered Yale College in '48, 
graduating therefrom in '52. In his senior year he was one of the editors of 
the Yale Literary Magazine, one of his associates on the board being Daniel 
C. Oilman, now president of the Johns Hopkins University. Returning to 
Buffalo in 1853, he married Maria, daughter of Lucius Storrs, and in Septem- 
ber of that year was licensed to preach, his first charge being at North Bergen, 
N. Y., where he was ordained in 1S55. During succeeding years he held 
pastorates at Brooklyn, Homer, N. Y., Jackson, Mich., and Silver Creek, 
N. \ In December, '69, he returned to Buffalo, having received the 
appoii tment of District Secretary for Western New York of the Seamen's 
Friend Society. This post he resigned after two years of effective work. The 
following year he wrote an account of the life-work of Asher Wright, for many 
years the faithful missionary to the Seneca Indians, his data being gathered 
from Mr. Wright's widow, then living on the Cattaraugus Reservation. 

For some years following 1S71, Mr. Bigelow supplied pulpits in Buffalo 
and neighboring towns and gave much of his time to painting portraits. 
Several of these — portraits of Samuel Wilkeson, Lucius Storrs, Juba Storrs and 
Samuel A. Bigelow — are now owned by the Buffalo Historical Society. He 
also painted one of James Fenimore Cooper for the novelist's son-in-law, 
Frederick Phinney, at one time a resident of Buffalo. 

As an officer of the Society he did much to promote its 
practical work. With the collections. lx>oks, pictures, relics, he brought 
order out of chaos and made useful material available to inquiring students 
as it had not been before, tie wrote many papers on subjects of local 
historical importance; always painstaking, untiring in his quest for accur- 
ate data. He had the essential git't of taking infinite pains. How well 
he exercised it is evidenced in the principal woik which he did for the 
Society, the editing of the two v.-»luines of Publications above referred to. 

Returning again to the pulpit, ho oouiinued to preach for some years, his 
last resident charge being the C'oj\grogational Church at North Lvans, N. Y. 




He removed again to Buffalo in 1891, an invalid with the malady which 
finally proved fatal. He died June 27, 1892, 

These notes are in no sense an adequate memoir ; the aim being merely 
to put on record, in these Publications, albeit with necessary brevity, some 
acknowledgment of the services rendered to the Society by one who served it 
with fruitful fidelity. 





On page 340 of this volume allusion is made to the " Public Speeches " 
by Judge Erastus Granger and Red Jacket, as probably the first book pub- 
lished in Buffalo. A facsimile reproduction of one of the two copies known to 
exist, follows. Its reproduction here may be the means of discovering other 
copies, or, if such there be, of a yet earlier Buffalo imprint. One of the copies 
referred to, is owned by the Buffalo Historical Society ; the other by Col. 
James N. Granger, Jr., of Buffalo, a grandson of Erastus Granger, who came 
to Buffalo in 1804, the accredited representative of the Government in all 
political matters. In an admirable sketch of the Granger family in Buffalo,"''" 
Col. Granger has related how Judge Grange'r reached Buffalo Creek, traveling 
on horseback, on the 30th of March, 1804, to find it a village of sixteen huts, 
its streets filled with stumps and its inhabitants the usual class found in a 
frontier town. It was not even a postoffice, but as part of the agreement he 
had made with the Government was that a post-office should be located there, 
he was soon (September 3, 1804), commissioned '* Postmaster at Buffaloe 
Crc^k." He resigned this office May 6, 1818.- On December 9, 1S03, 
befcre leaving Washington, he was confirmed by the United States Senate as 
Surveyor of the Port of Buffalo Creek, and on December 20, 1805, confirmed 
as Collector of the Port. These last two offices he resigned March 17, 1812. 
The duties of these three offices he performed by deputy. " During the War 
of 181 2, the post-office at Buffalo was the most important in the newer West, 
A line of expresses had been established by the Government between Wash- 
ington and Buffalo and dispatches were sent forward on horseback at the 
swift speed of ten miles an hour. All communications to the commanding 
generals in the West came to Buffalo, and orders for Gen. Harrison at San- 
dusky, to Commodore Perry on the lake and to the officer on the Niagara 
River came to the office here and were forwarded by the postmaster by the 
most expeditious manner possible." 

In 1807 Mr. Granger was appointed one of the judges of the County of 
Genesee, then comprising all the territory between the Genesee River and 
Lake Erie, and when the western part was set off, in 1808, as Niagara County, 
he was appointed judge of that new county. He presided at the first term of 
court ever held in Buffalo (June, iSoS), and continued on the bench until 
1817. In i8i6 and 1S17 he was Supervisor of Buffalo, then the highest town 
office. He was one of the founders of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and its 
first senior warden. 

* The Illustrated Buffalo Express, Oct. 25, 1891. 





It was as Indian Agent, however, that his principal work was done. 
"The half dozen years preceding the War of 1812," writes Col. Granger, 
*♦ were full of alarms and suspicions of danger. Judge Granger's dispatches 
from Washington urged the utmost diligence on his part. British agents were 
constantly crossing from Canada seeking to stir up the Six Nations and form 
treaties with them, enlisting their aid when war should come. Council after 
council was held at Buffalo, at which the subtle yet eloquent speeches of Red 
Jacket, Cornplanter, Farmer's Brother and other silver-tongued orators were 
heard. News of the declaration of war reached Buffalo on the 27th of June, 
1812, and the question of what the Indians would do was not settled. Judge 
Granger called a final council at Buffalo, and the chieftains met their agent on 
July 6, 18 12." The Senecas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas, the Tuscaroras, 
and the Oneidas were present ; only the Mohawks, who at the close of the 
Revolution had fled to Canada, were absent. Red Jacket made the opening 
speech, after which Judge Granger delivered his messages of friendship. 
Then, Indian fashion, the Council 'adjourned, that an answer might be made 
without unseemly haste. On re-assembling, July Sth, Red Jacket replied to 
Judge Granger's speech of July 6th, with his usual masterly eloquence. He 
reviewed the various treaties which the Government had made with the Six 
Nations-, and did not hesitate to point out the transgression of the whites. 
*' Finally he brought forward a large belt, and asked the agent to look at it 
and observe that it was the same presented to them by Gen. Washington. 
As the Indians had no writings, when a treaty was made belts were ex- 
changed, and retained till the treaty was repealed; the terms of the treaty 
were committed to memory. So trained had the Senecas become in memoriz- 
ing what they heard (it is said), that not only could they years afterwards 
give a treaty complete, but it was their custom to listen all day in council to 
the long speeches made and, adjourning the hearing for a few days, return to 
their villages and there repeat verbatim all the orations, and learn the opinions 
of their neighbors as to what should be said in answer.'' 

"The importance of this treaty," justly observes Col. Granger, " can 
hardly be overestimated. It closed the door to all danger of the Six Nations 
becoming the allies of the British, and saved the whole frontier, even then 
sparsely settled, from the horrors of Indian warfare. Had these leaders of the 
Indians taken up the hatchet, hardly a tribe but would have followed suit, and 
the worst results would have been forthcoming. As it was, the Nations 
remained neutral until, by good fortune, some of the Canadian Indians crossed 
the Niagara and invaded the Senecas' country, when at once the Nations 
sprang to arms and voluntarily joined the Americans.'' 

The speeches in full follow, in our facsimile reproduction, which not only 
presents anew the record of this important event, but helps to preserve from 
total disappearance, the image if" not the acitial pages of " The First Buffalo 
Book."— Eu. 






At the Villo^e of Buffalo, on the 6th cvd St/i days 
of July, 1 8 1*2, 



Indian Agent» 



One of the Principal Chiefs and Speakers 
of the Se.vaca Nation, 




Pnnted and sold by S H & H A. SALISBURY 
— sold also at the Canandaigua and Geneva 
! E Bookstores. 




[This Council was convened ai the request of the 
Hon E Granger, Esq. Indian Agent. The 
Sacliems, Chiefs, and Warriors of the Six Na- 
tions of Indians, residing in the United States, 
were present] 

Mondaij^ July 6, 1812, 

Eed Jacket, 

Addressing himself to the ^genc, sfioke as follows. 

Y V E are glad of having an 
opportunity once more of meeting 
you in council. We thank the Great 
Spirit that has again brought us to- 
gether. This is a full meeting. All 
our head men are present. Every 
village is represented in this coun- 
cil. AVe are pleased to find Mr. 
Parrish, our interpreter, is present. 
He has attended all our councils since 




the last war, and is well acquainted 
with all the treaties we have made 
with the United States. 

Ttie voice of war has reached our 
ears, and made our minds c^loomy. 
We now wish you to communicate 
to us everj' thing* vvhicli your gov- 
ernment has charged you to tell us 
concerning this war. We shall lis- 
teji with attention to what you have 
to say. 


BPotftERS^ cf the Six A^'atioss, 

X AM happ)' to behold so ma- 
ny of you assembled together at this 
time. 1 observe that the chiefs of 
the Seneca, Onondaga, Cayuga, and 
Tuscarora nations, and some of the 
Uelawares, arc present. The iHo- 
hawks, who live in Canada, are not 

I i 


represented, and tlie Oneidas, living 
at a distance could nor attend 

Bi'others — You will now listen to 
what I sa)' : — 

At the close of the revolutionarv 
war the U. States held a treaty with 
the Sl\ Nations at Fort Stanwix. 
They restored to you the country of 
land which they had conquered from 
you and the British, and set you 
down once more on your old seats. 
Several treaties have since been made 
with you ; but that which particular- 
ly binds us together, was made at 
Canandaigua about sixteen years 

The chain of friendship then for- 
med, has been kept bright until this 

In this great length of time noth- 
ingmaterial has happened to disturb 
the peace and harmony subsisting 
between us. Any momentary in- 
terruptions of peace which have la- 





ken place, have been happily settled 
without injury to either party. Our 
friendship has remained unbroken. 

Brothers — The prosperity ^' hap- 
piness of the Six Nations have al- 
%vays been objeets which the United 
States have had in view. 

You have enjoyed with us all the 
blessings whieh the country aftbrded. 
consistent with your mode and ha- 
bits of living. We have grown up 
together on this great Island. Tlie 
United States aj-e strong and powei*- 
ful ; you aje few in numbers and 
weak ; but as our friends, we consi- 
der you, and your women and chil- 
di'en, under our protection. 

Brothers — You have heretofore 
been told that the conduct of Gj'eat 
Britain, towards us. might eventual- 
ly lead to war. That event has at 
leiigth taken place War now ex- 
ists between the United States and 
ihe British nation The injuries we 



have received from the British, have, 
at length, forced us into a war. 

I will now proceed to state to you 
the reasons why we have been com- 
pelled to take up arms. 

For a number of years past, the 
British and French, who live on the 
other side of the great waters, have 
been at war with enrh other, shed- 
ding each other's blood. These na- 
tions wished us to take a part in their 
war. France wanted us to fight a- 
gainst Great Britain. Great Britain 

wanted us to join against France 

But the United States did not wish 

to take any part in their quarrels 

Oiu* object was to live in peace, and 
trade with both nations, Notwit- 
standing our endeavors to maintain 
friendship with tliem, both France 
and Great Britain have broken their 
treaties with us. They have taken 
our vessels and property, and refus- 
ed to restore them, or make compcn- 





sarion for the losses we sustained. 

But the British have done us the 
greatest injui*y. They have taken 
out of our vessels at least six thous- 
and of our own people, put them on 
board then* ships of wai', and com- 
pelled them to fight their battles.. «. 
In tliis situation,our friends and con- 
nexions are confined, oblijved to fight 
for the British. 

Broihers — If you consider the sit- 
uation in which we are placed, you 
cannot blame us for going to war. I 
will ask you a question. Suppose 
that the Mohawk Nation, who live in 
Canada, were at war with a nation 
of Indians at the westwai'd. Both 
those nations being your friends, you 
v/ere determined to take no part b) 
their disputes,but to be at peace with 
both — to visit them, and trade with 
them as usual. In consequence of 
this deteiTuination, you should send 
messengers with speeches to inform 




them of the system you had adopted. 
But the Mohawks not satis tied in see- 
ing you in prosperity, enjoying the 
blessings of peace, v isiting and trad- 
ing with their enemy — determine to 
make you feel the evils of war. un- 
less you agiee to give up all inter- 
course with those they ai*e at war 
with. This you cannot consent to : 
you want the privilege of selling your 
furs and skins where you can find 
the best market. The Mohawks still 
continue to flatter you — say tliey are 
your friends — put on smiling faces 
and speak good words. But in the 
mean time, while professing friend- 
ship towards you, they fall upon your 
hunting and trading parties, as they 
travel back and forth — strip them of 
their property — leave them naked in 
the world, and refuse to make satis- 
faction. Not only this,buttliey come 
near your villages, and tliere murder 
your people — others they take, when 



found from honie,bind them fast and 
compel them to go and fight tfieu* 

Brothers — Could you for a mo- 
ment submit to such treatment 

Would you not, all as one, rise from 
your seats, and let the enemy feel 
your vengeance ? If you are ^?ar- 
riors, if you are brave men, you cer- 
tamly would. What I have stated 
is exactly our case. The British 
have doue us all these injuries* and 
still continue to do us wrong ^vithout 
a cause. The United States have 
risen from their scats — they have 
raised their strong arm, and Avill 
cause it to be felt. 

Brothers — 1 feel it my duty,at this 
present time, to point out to you the 
straight path in which you ought to 
walk. You well recollect the advice 
given you, by tlie peoph^ of the Uni^ 
ted States, at tlie commencement of 
the revolutionary war against Great 

396 . APPENDIX. 


Britain. You were then requested 
to stay at home — to sit upon your 
seats at your own council fires, and 
to take no part in the war. 

It would have been happy for you 
had you Ibllowed this good advice. 
But the presents and fair speeches 
of the British, poisoned your minds. 
You took up the hatchet against us. 
and become our enemies. At the 
close of the war witli Britain, (the e- 
vent you Avell know), the U. States 
had it in their pow er to have cut you 
off as a people, but they took pity on 
you, and let your return to youi' for 
mer seats. 

Your great father, the President 
of the Seventeen Fires, now gives his 
Red Children the same advice that 
>vas given you at the beginning of the 
hist war: that is — T]u\i you take no 
part in the quarrels of the white peo- 
ple. He stands in no need of your 
assistance. His warriors are uumer- 




ousjitethe sand on the shores of the 
great lakes, which cannot be counted. 
He is able to ilght his own battles, 
and requests you to stay at home,cul- 
tivate youi* fields and take caieof your 
property. If you have any regard 
for your women and children — If 
you have any respect for the country 
in whoso soil I'epose the bones of 
your fathers — you will listen to his 
advice, and keep bright the chain of 
friendship between us. 

YoQ have been invited, to join the 
British in this war. Reflect for a 
moment on the consequence of com- 
plying with theii* request. You will 
lose your property in the U. States. 
We shall soon take possession of Ca- 
nada. They will have no land to sit 
you down upon. You will have no- 
thing to expect from our mercy 

You will deservedly, as a people, he 
cut off from the face of the earth. 

The late delegation which you sent 




to Canada, was told, that they ought 
not to put auy confidence in the U- 
nited States — that, if you did, we 
should deceive you — that the United 
States kept no promises made to In- 

Brothers — I now ask, in what have 

the United States deceived you? 

Have they not punctually paid your 
annuities as they became due ? Have 
not the Seneca's received annually 
the interest of their money in the 
public funds P Has not the state of 
New-York honestly fulfilled her en- 
gagements with the Oneida's, Onon- 
daga's, and Cajaiga's ? Have not the 
Tuscurora's been assisted in the sale 
of their property in North Carolinti, 
and in obtaining a pleasant seat, 
purchased of the Holland land com- 
pany ? I again ask, have not the U. 
States obsei'ved good faith towards 
you ? Have they deceived you in any 
one thing ? I answer, they have not 



KnoTring, as jou do, tLat we are 
your friends. Will you act like chil- 
dren and suffer yourselves to be im- 
posed upon at this time by om' ene- 
mies ? 

Bvotliers — It was oiu* wish that 
the Six Nations should all be agreed 
as one man, but the Mohawks and 
some few others, living on tlic Brit- 
ish side, have been so foolish as to 
declare in favor of war. The good 
advice you lately gave them,. has not 
been attended to. They are now at 
Newark in arms against the United 
States. I am sorry they have not 
listened to good counsel. Tou how- 
ever have done your duty, and you 
are notto blame for their folly. They 
will soon find they have done wrong, 
and must suffer the consequence. 

Brothers — continue to listen. 

You have been frequently told, 
that in case we went to war, we 
did not want your assistance. The 



same thing lias this daj been repeat- 
ed. But I find some of your young 
men are restless and uneasy. They 
wish te be with our warriors, and 1 
am sensible the Chiefs have not pow- 
er t<) control them. As I observed 
before, we want not their aid, but we 
believe it better for them to be our 
friends than our enemies. 

If they will not be contented to 
stay athome,but must see something 
of a war; perhaps 150, or SOO will 
be permitted to stand by the side of 
our waiTiors, and. receive the same 
pay and provisions which our soldiers 

If they should be permitted to 

join our troops, they must conform 

to our regulations. Your mode of 

caiTying on a war is diflerent from 

ours. We never attack, and make 

war upon women and children, nor 

on those who are peaceably inclined, 

and have nothing to defend them- 




selves with. Such conduct we con- 
sider as cowardly, and not becoming 
a waiTior 

Brothers — If you have not suffi- 
cient time this evening to deliberate 
on wliat I have said, I will meet you 
to-moiTow, or next day and receive 
your answer. 



Mr. Granger''s Speech. 

Weclnesdat/i July 8, 1812. 


1 V ¥ E are now prepared to 

" i give an answer to the speech you de- 

Uveredto us in council the other day. 
We are happy to find so many of the 
white people pi*esent. We are not 
accustomed to ti^ansact important bu- 




siness in the dark !....we are willing 
tliat//ie /?>/ir should shine upon what- 
ever we do. When we speak, we do 
it with sincerity, and in a manner 
that cannot be misunderstood. 

You have been appointed by the 
United States an Agent for the Six 
Nations. >Ve have been requested 
to make you acquainted with the sen- 
timents of those nations vve repre- 
sent. None of the Moliawks, Onei- 
das, or Cayugas. it is well known, arc 
present. The number of treaties 
that has passed between the Six Na- 
tions and the United States, appears 
to be fresh in your memory. We 
shall only mention toyou somethings 
that were agreed upon in the treaty 
made at Canandaigua. 

We were a long time in forming 
that treaty, but we at length made 
up our minds and spoke freely. Mr. 
Pickering, who was then agent for 
the United States, declared to us that 



no breaeh should ever be made in 
that treaty. We replied to him, If 
it should ever be broken, you will be 

the first to do it. We are weak 

You are strong. You are a great 
people. You can, if you are so dis- 
posed, place yourselves under it and 
overturn it — or, by getting upon it, 
you can crush it with yoiu' weight ! 
Mr. PiCRERiNc again declared, that 
this treaty would ever remain firm 
and unshaken, that it would be as du- 
rable as the largest rock to be found 
in our country. 

Tliis treaty was afterwards shown 
to Gen. Washlngton. He said that 
he was satisfied and pleased with 
what the agent had done. He told 
us that no treaty could he formed 
that would be more binding. He 
then presented us with a chain which 
he assured us, would never rust, but 
always remain bright. Upon this 
belt of wampum, f holding up a belt of 




wampum, cnt/inouslAj vn*ought ) he f la- 
ced a silver seal — [upon which an 
eagle was en graved, re presenting the 
United States.] This belt we always 
have and always wish to look upon as 

In the treaty, it was agreed that 
the Six Nations shouldreceivc a small 
annuity, to show the intention of the 
United States to continue friendly 
with them. This has been compli- 
ed w ith. It was also agreed that, if 
any injtiry or damage should be done 
on either side, satisfaction should be 
made to the party injured. We were 
a long time in conference before we 
could make up our minds upon one 
article of the treaty — What punish- 
nient should be inflicted for the 
crime of murder? Mr. Pickering 
said it shciuld be hanging. We told 
him that would never do : that if a 
white man killed an Indiait, the In- 
dians would not be permitted to hang 




the white man the sacrifice would 

be considered too great for killing an 
Indian ! We at length agreed, that 
conciliatory measures should he re- 
sorted to, such as would give satis- 
faction to all paities. 

In cases of theft. as in stealing hor- 
ses, cattle, 6jc. it wiis agreed that res- 
titution should be made. In this ar- 
cle, the whites have transgressed 
tAvice, where llie Indians have once. 
....As often as you will mention one 
instance in which we have wronged 
yon, we will tell you of two in which 
you have defrauded us ! 

I have related these articles of the 
treaty to show you that if still re- 
mains clear in our recollection, and 
v/e r^ow declare to you, in presence 
of all here assembled, that we will 
continue to hold fast the chain which 
connects us together. Some who 
fii'st took hold of it, are gone 1 but 
others will supply their place. 




We regret, extremely, that any dis- 
turbance should have taken place a- 
mong the wliite people. Mischief 
has commenced. We are now told 
that war has been declared against 
Great Britain.. .the reasons for it are 
j unknown to us. The Six Nation s are 

i placed in an unpleasant situation. A 

I part of them are in Canada, and the 

remainder in the United States. 

Whilst we were endeavoring to 
persuade those who live in Canada 
to remain peaceable and quiet, the 
noise of war suddenly sounded in our 
ears. We were told that all <iommu- 
i nication, between us and them woidd 

be prevented. We have since heard 

that they have taken up arms. We 

are very sorry to hear of this. They 

\ are our brothers and relations, and 

we do not wish that their blood 
should be spilt, wlien there is so Ut- 
tle occasion for it. We hope that 
the passage is not so closely stopped, 




but that a small door may still be 
open by wbich we may again hav^e 
an opportunity of* seeing our bro- 
tbers, and of cunvincingtheni to take 
no part in a war in \Yhich they have 
nothiug to gain. 

We know tlie feelings of the (great- 
er portion of them. We therefore 
believe, that if we have another op- 
portunity, we can persuade them to 
have noticing to do with this war. — 
Our minds are fully made up on 
this subject^ and we repeat, that it is 
our v/ish to see them once more, and 
to give them our advice about the 
path they ought to travel. 

You (Mr. Pari'ish)are goingtothe 
eastward, vou will visit the Oneidas 
and Cayugas — -Relate to them faith- 
fully what has taken place in this 
council ; tell them all we have said, 
and request that a deputation of their 
chiefs may be sent to attend our 
coimcil here. We wish that you 
vould return with them. 



[He then brought forward the belt 
which he had before held up in his 
hand, and requested Mr. Granger, 
and the others present, to look at it 
and observe, whether it was not the 
one that had been presented to the 
SLx Nations by Gen. Washinscton. 

Ked Jacket then held up another 
belt, much larger, of difierent colors, 
which appeared to be very ancient. 
He continued.] 

Brother — I will now state to you 
the meaning of this belt. A long 
time ago the Six Nations had form- 
ed an union. They had no means 
of writing their treaties on paper,and 
of preserving them in the manner 
the ^yhite people do. We therefore 
made this belt, which shows, that 
the SLx. Nations have bound them- 
selves firmly together ; that it is 
their determination to remain u- 
nited ; that they will never do any 
thing, contrary to the interests of 




the TV hole ; but that they Avill always 
act towards each other hke broth- 

Whenever ibr the future, yon see 
a small number of our people meet- 
ing together to consult about any 
matter of trifling account, we desire 
that you would pay no attention to it. 
It may srive you uneasiness, Avhen 
we have no intention to injure you. 
This happened but a few days ago : 
It seems that a white man and two 
or three Indians, living on the same 
creek^had a small conversation,which 
the mischievous talked about until 
the whole country was in an uproar, 
and many famihes left their country 
and homes in consequence ! 

The council held some time since 
at Batavia, ^vas unauthorized by us, 
and we now declare to you, that none 
havearischtto hold council any where 
except at this place, ai'ound tlie great 
council fire of the Six Xations. 


410 - APPEXDIX. 


We hope that you will not accept 
of anj of our warriors, unless they 
are permitted by our great council 
to offer themselves to you. And we 
shouhl be sorrj indeed, ifany of the 
whites should entice our young war- 
riors to take up arms. We mention 
these things to show you that we wish 
to guard against everything tliat may 
interrupt our good understanding. 

Brother — We hope that what has 
been said will be generally known to 
the white people. Let every one re- 
collect and give a faithful account of 
it. We wish them to know that we 
are peaceably disposed towards the 
United States, and that we are deter- 
mined to keep bright the chain of 
friendship that we formed with them 
at Canandaigua. 

Brother — We have one thing more 
to which we would wish to call your 
attention. We present you the pa- 
pers, (handing to the agent a small 




bundle of papers), which secure to 
us our annuities from the U. States. 
We would be glad to know if this 
war would affect our interests in that 
quarter. We also desire that you 
would infonii us, whether the mon- 
ies we have deposited in the [late] 
bank of the United States, w ill be 
less secure, than if this war had not 
taken place. 

Beply of the Jigeni, 

JltJlK- Granger, after thanking 
them for then' general and punctu- 
al attendance, replied as follows : — 

Brothers — You have this day 
brought forward the large white belt, 
given you at Canandaigua. Your 
speaker has explained the leading 
particulars of the treaty made at that 
time. I am much pleased to find 
your minds so deeply impressed with 



them. I now repeat to you that the 
United States will, on their part, hold 
fast to the treaty ; they wish you to 
do the same. Should it be broken 
on your part, the United States will 
no longer consider themselves bound 
by it. 

Brothers — It appears that you are 
still desirous of sending to Grand 
River to endeavor to prevail on your 
brethren, in that quarter to remain 
at peace. An undertaking of tliis 
kind will be of little use. They will 
only fill your heads with idle talk, 
and poison your minds against the 
U.States. Perhaps after crossing Nia- 
gara river, you will not be permitted to 
go any further. Should you, how- 
ever, insist upon it, permission will 
be granted to four or five of your 
chiefs to go over, with such instruc- 
tions as you shaD think proper to 
give them. 

But should your young men cross 




over and join our enemies, they must 
never expect to be allowed to set 
their feet on our shores again as 
friends. Rest assured they will be 
severely punished for it. 

With respect to the property you 
have placed in the hands of the U- 
nited States you have nothing to fear, 
it will be fully as secure as if this 
war had not happened. Your an- 
nuities will be paid you as formerly, 
and your bank stock be as product- 
ive as usual. 

I now return you my thanks for 
the good attendance you have given 
at this council. I feel pleased that 
you have again come forward and 
t»enewed the covenant of friendship, 
that you have once more declaimed 
your steady attachment to the Unit- 
ed States. 

Yom' friend, Mr. PaiTish, will 
soon go to the eastward, where he 
will see such of your brethren as 



were not present at this council. In 
a short time he will return, and re- 
main here, if he should be wanted, 
through the summer. 

[In consequence of the permis- 
sion of tlie Agent, several of the 
chiefs repaired to Lewiston for the 
purpose of crossing. Application 
was made to General Brock, (who 
has the command of the ti*oops in 
the Upper Province) that they might 
be suffered to land on the Canada 
shore. After two days General 
Brock sent them word that two of 
their chiefs would be permitted to 
come over and converse for a few 
minutes with such of the chiefs, be- 
longing to Canada, as would be au- 
tliorized to meet them. They ac 
eordingly went over, and after a few 
minutes conversation with some of 
the Canadian cliiefs, without effect- 
ing their object, they were oixlered 
to return.] 




[Seepage 123.] 

In 1818 — early — Juba Storrs & Co. entered into a speculation, joining 
with some others, among them Hale & Brigham of Canandaigua. This 
enterprise was nothing less than an ante-Barnum project: They became 
proprietors of a show. A company of fine-looking Indians were accoutred 
and sent to Europe for exhibition, with hope of "turning a penny" for the 
benefit of the operators. Among them have been named to me Tommy 
Jimmy, Steep Rock, Little Bear, Red Squirrel and Two Guns. 

They were put in charge of Carlton Fox — already known as a skillful 
hand in managing the wild men — and Brigham of the Canandaigua firm of 
Hale & Brigham. But Brigham as financial manager, and Fox as showman, 
had their hands more than full in that affair. 

The Indians were a splendid set of fellows, and they knew it, and were 
wonderfully set up by their knowledge and the notice they attracted and 
attention they received. This was very great. They were novelties, shown 
off in their native costumes, with brilliant feathers, and bright-hued garments, 
and wild ways — and John Bull was wonderfully taken by them. 

Yet, all the more on this account Fox was often at his wits' end to keep 
them anywhere within bounds. As an instance of this, I give the following : 
At Liverpool, Fox had told Little Bear on one occasion to put on his overcoat, 
covering his " regimentals," and go incog, to see the animals at a zoological 
exhibition, expressly telling him not to let Tommy Jimmy know about it, as 
he couM not then trust him, he having begun to be affected by an overdose of 
fire-wat^r; adding that he (Fox) would take them next night to see the show. 
But the temptation was too great for Little Bear, and he " let on " to Tommy 
as to his distinguished privilege and expected fun ; whereat T. J. went 
into a great rage and made his appearance before Fox and Brigham. in Fox's 
room, in a threatening state of jealous wrath and — whiskeyness, with a knife 
in his hand. Brigham went out and left Fox alone with the savage. But 
Fox was equal to the occasion. His eloquence prevailed, and Tommy Jimmy 
turned to go ; then the evil spirit returned and he whirled and came back 
before reaching the door, flourishing his knife and declaring himself bound to 
kill the offender. Fox kept him off with a chair till finally Tommy decided 
to leave, giving vent to his wrath, however, by sticking his knife with a 
terrible blow, not into Fox, but into the door — -^nd leaving it there as a 
warning. * 

The affair spread at once through the whole company, Tommy tr^-ing to 
make them feel tiiat they had been slighted and badly treated. A council 



416 . APPENDIX. 

was called, and Little Bear told his story, explaining the matter. Tommv 
was worsted in the- war of words and explanations, and matters were 
amicably adjusted. Tommy concluding with the short, sensible, if not 
penitent remark, " I think whiskey did it." 

A reminiscence of this expedition, savoring of the romantic, should here 
be recorded, called up by the fact that Orlando Allen, Esq., has in his 
residence a picture of these Indians in their exhibition costume, painted by an 
English lady, Mrs. Nevins. 

This lady fell in love with Steep Rock, who was a specially fine-looking 
man. She followed and persecuted him in the infatuation of her attachment; 
and to such an extent did this go that the return of the troop, after it had 
been determined upon, was finally hastened, and the time of their departure 
carefully concealed from the Indians themselves till it had arrived, and it 
became necessary to get Sleep Rock drunk to bring him on board the vessel. 
Then, when the troop had reached home again, the lady, who was a beautiful 
person, painted a miniature of herself and sent it to Steep Rock, with several 
guineas in money. One day Steep Rock came in to see Mrs. George Burt, 
and when she asked him about the lady, he with great emotion drew the 
miniature from his bosom and showed it to her. 

I have said that Brigham as financial agent had his hands full also on this 
exhibition. In fact, matters went so adversely on account of great expenses, 
that notwithstanding the great success of the eichibition as a show, Brigham 
fell far behind in money matters, and being in debt and in danger of imprison- 
ment on account of it, the firm sent out their clerk, Jacob A. Barker, to take 
his place, and he came home. • 


■In the rooms of the Buffalo Historical Society there is preserved with 
much care a great volume. In size and thickness it rivals the largest and 
heaviest ledgers. It rests on a desk made especially for it, and an embroidered 
plush covering protects /rom dust or careless and unappreciative hands, the 
handsome morocco-bound lids. Between those lids is a whole treasure-house 
of local history- — some four hundred pages of manuscript records, relating to 
Buffalo's famous " Board of Trade " Regiment, the looth New York Stare 
Volunteers. Besides the manuscripts, which are of great variety, the volume 
contains some seventy photographic and other portraits, maps, plans, views of 
battles, forts and prisons, newspaper reports, souvenirs of regimental reunions 
— in short, it holds in great abundance the original materials for a history of 
the looth Regiment. This volumS was compiled and presented to the Society 
by Mr. George S. Hazard, a devoted member of the Society, and President of 
the Buffalo Board of Trade at the time the Regiment was organized. Some- 




thing of the history of that Regiment, and something of the contents of the 
volume itself, may be learned from Mr. Hazard's Introduction, extracts from 
which follow : 

This volume contains a large portion of the records, reports and 
correspondence relating to the looth Regiment, N. Y. S. Volunteers, which 
came into my hands while President of the Buffalo Board of Trade and Chair- 
man of the War Committee during the War of the Rebellion, from July, 1862, 
to April, 1865. Since that time many resolutions to examine and arrange them 
properly, for future reference, were defeated by the cares and responsibilities 
of a large business, consequently the dust of nearly a generation had covered 
them from sight, but memory still held them dear, and in fulfillment of a 
sacred duty to the dead who gave their lives for the life of their country, and 
also to the living heroes of that distinguished regiment, these papers have been 
compiled for preservation, and are placed in the rooms of the Buffalo Histor- 
ical Society, for examination and reference. 

On these pages will be found a copy of the original " Muster in " roll of 
the Regiment, the names and rank of its officers and the members of each 
Company, its condition from time to time during the War, from occasional 
regimental " Morning Reports " ; brief accounts of encounters and battles 
with the enemy and the names of killed, wounded and missing, so far as could 
be obtained; correspondence, original and ccpies, with the Department of 
War, Medical Department, etc., etc., at Washington, and also with Governors of 
this State, regarding appointment and promotion of officers in the Regiment ; 
also letters from and to officers and members of the " rank and file " ; 
correspondence with ladies of the ''Sanitary and Relief Society" and a copy 
of the original Buffalo Board of Trade '* War Subscription " ; the names of 
several hundred conscripts detailed by the Secretary of War, at the request of 
the War Committee; and last but not least, the "Muster-out" roll and 
hoi orable discharge of the gallant, brave and ever-to-be-remembered looth 
Regiment, N. V. S. Volunteers. 

Had r supposed, during those eventful years, that any value would 
ever attach to the correspondence and other papers regarding the lOOth 
Regiment, I should have been more careful of their preservation, and now I 
regret that many letters from private soldiers, and other communications of 
much interest, have been lost or mislaid, and numerous copies of my own 
letters, through hasty or careless copying, have become too indistinct to 
decipher. But I am confident that the material saved and contained in 
this volume will be found interesting and worthy of preservation. 

The lOOth Regiment was organized under an order issued by the War 
Department to Gen. G. A. Scroggs, dated _. August 19, 1861, who authorized 
Capt. Daniel B. Nash, of Springvillc, Capt. John Nicholson, Capt. Chas. E. 
Morse, Capt. Michael Bailey, Capt. I'dwin I*. Dye, Capt. Chas. 11. llenshaw, 
Capt. Geo. Hinson,Capt. Chas. E. Rauert, Buffalo, and Capt. Lewis S. Payne, 

i > 


of Tonawanda, to enlist volunteers for a regiment to be called the looth 
N. Y. S. Volunteers. Recruiting was begun, and as men accumulated, 
companies were formed. Early in March, 1S62, the Regiment, fully organized 
and numbering 960 rank and file, was ordered to New York, where, after 
being furnished with arms, it proceeded to Washington and entered upon the 
severe trials of a soldier's life, to which the pages of this book in some slight 
degree, bear evidence. 

In this connection it is unnecessary to more than briefly allude to the 
antecedents of the Buffalo Board of Trade. 

As a strictly commercial institution, from its formation in 1S44, it had 
always sustained a high character for broad and generous views in promoting 
all public measures, favorably affecting the interests, not only of the City of Buf- 
falo, but also of the State of New York, her great avenues of traffic, the com- 
merce of the lakes and the producing States tributary thereto. In all projects and 
undertakings of this nature, the efforts of its members were liberal and untiring. 
In appeals to their patriotism, sympathy 'or benevolence they were ever ready 
to respond with characteristic generosity. 

The first rebel shot against the walls of Sumter, followed by the most 
daring and defiant outrages, surprised and aroused the loyal heart of the 
country. The members of the Buffalo Board of Trade were not tardy in 
manifesting their patriotism from time to time during the early stage of the 
rebellion, by many spontaneous and liberal contributions in aiding and 
equipping different military organizations, and assisting sanitary and relief 
societies in their noble work of furnishing necessary supplies for the sick and 
wounded soldiers, in hospitals and in the field. The aggregate sum given in 
this way amounted to many thousands of dollars. Demands of this nature 
were frequent, and the members of the Board saw the necessity for raising a 
large fund specially for war purposes, to be placed in the hands of a committee 
to dispense in their discretion to the best advantage. A subscription was at 
once started, and responded to with patriotic enthusiasm, which soon reached 
a sum of about $23,000, which was promptly paid. It is but just to say that 
the amount donated at different times during the War by the members of the 
Buffalo Board of Trade, although comparatively few in number, did not fall 
short of $50,000. 

On announcement of the success of the subscription, a meeting of the 
Board was called, and after some spirited speeches, the following nan\ed 
members were appointed a '*War Committee," viz., J. M. Richmond, L. K. 
Plympton, C. ]. Mann, S. j. Ilolley, S. W. Howell, E. S. Prosser, D.- S. 
Bennett, A. G. Williams, J. G. Deshler, and the president, G. S. Hazard, who 
was appointed treasurer of the fund and chairman of the committee. The 
question as to the disposition of the fund-then arose. In considering tlie 
subject, after some discussion, the attention of the committee was directed to 
the gallant conduct, in the terrific l)attle of Fair Oaks, of the looth Regiment, 
consisting of raw and inexperienced volunteers, scarcely three months from 



their homes; how like veterans they stood up in a tornado of shot and shell 
almost to annihilation. Its losses in this initiatory engagement in killed, 
wounded, and missing, amounting to nearly fifty per cent, of the original roll, 
aroused in the Board of Trade the most intense sympathy and profound 
admiration for the gallant and fearless heroism exhibited by this regiment. 
The situation of the looih at that time, suffering under the loss of the brave 
Colonel Krown, and many gallant officers and men, reduced to a mere wreck 
of its former condition, the roll numbering but 451 rank and file, out of 960, 
its original number, was truly deplorable and involved an emergency endan- 
gering its very identity and existence as a regiment, and doubtless without aid 
by prompt and ample re-enforcement of men, would have resulted in disband- 
ment and consolidation with other corps. 

The Board of Trade Committee, on considering the facts before them, no 
longer hesitated, but at once embraced the favorable opportunity which the 
unfortunate condition of the Regiment presented. The committee made their 
report to the full Board "on Change" July- 29, 1862, recommending the 
adoption of the locth Regiment, N. Y. S. Volunteers, and that the recruiting 
of men to fill its ranks be commenced without delay. The report of the 
committee was received with cheers by the members of the Board, and 
without hesitation unanimously adopted. It was also " resolved that an 
appropriate flag be procured and presented to the Regiment." The President 
of the Board immediately addressed a letter to Major Otis of the looth 
Regiment, informing him that the Board of Trade, by a unanimous vote, had 
resolved to adopt the looth and to take immediate measures to enlist men to 
fill its ranks. This letter was read to the Regiment on dress parade, and 
responded to by resolutions of thanks. 

The assurance of sympathy from good friends at home who were willing 
and ready to help them out of their troubles, inspired new hope and imparted 
fresh vigor and resolution to the Regiment. The War Committee without 
delay, established a recruiting station, and with a few active agents, an enlist- 
ment of volunteers began in earnest. Many good strong men were obtained, 
and as the proper papers were executed, they were forwarded to the Regiment 
in squads of thirty or more. 

During this period the lOOth .was without a Colonel, and the question of 
selection from names proposed was not a little embarrassing to the conmiittee. 
On application to Gov. Morgan, he suggested the name of Capt. George B. 
Dandy, of the U. S. Army, who had been highly recommended to him as an 
experienced and accomplished officer. The committee were disposed to make 
further inquiry, and the president and one other member went to Albany, and 
after consultation with the Governor and obtaining all necessary information in 
regard to Capt. Dandy's qualifications for The, position, he was, at their 
request, duly commissioned Colonel of the looth Rei*iment. It is proper to 
add that Capt. Dandy, after a thorough military education, had served for 
some eight years in the regular army, part of the time in Florida, also in 




California, and later as captain on General McCIellan's staff; and was 
nominated for the "brevet of major" for brave conduct in the battle of 
Malvern Hill. 

At this conference v^'ith the Governor it was distinctly arranged that all 
appointments of commissioned officers in the looth Regiment should be made 
only on the recommendation of the executive officer of the Board of Trade and 
War Committee, the appointments to be confined solely to those whose merit 
and soldierly qualifications entitled them to promotion. This arrangement 
was strictly adhered to and tended to suppress all political influence and 
favoritism. Some mistakes may have been made, but mainly the appointments 
and promotions were well deserved. 

Col. Dandy, on taking command, found the Regiment possessed of a true 
spirit of patriotism and indomitable fighting qualities, but like nearly all of our 
volunteer troops, at that early period of the War, deficient in the practical train- 
ing necessary to qualify a soldier for intelligent active service in the presence 
of the enemy. How well Col. Dandy succeeded, and how well the Regiment 
profited by his instructions in establishing a strict military discipline and 
encouraging that morale so necessary on the field of battle, these records 
of the Regiment testify. 

During the latter part of 1S62 and early in 1863 the Regiment often 
changed location, and in April pitched its tents at Coles Island, S. C, 
then on YoWy and afterward on Morris Island, where their morning and 
evening gun reminded their Rebel neighbors in the strongholds about Charles- 
ton, that the " Yankees " had come to stay. The condition of the Regiment at 
that time was excellent in discipline and strength, the roll showing about nine 
hundred stro»'g. Full accounts of the severity of the service on Morris 
Island and of the losses sustained by the Regiment, not only by the constant 
dropping of shot and shell in and about the camp, but in the repeated and 
deadly attacks on the fortifications in that vicinity, will be found in the>e 
pages. During the long siege of Charleston and in the perilous assaults on 
F'ort Wagner, the lorth underwent constant depletion. In one of these fatal 
atternpts the color-bearer, Sergt. Flanders of Co. A, with the flag presented by 
the Board in his hand, was killed on the rampart, but the tlag was valianiiy 
rescued and brought off in a dilapidated condition, by Corporal Spooner of the 
same Company. 

A new flag was suggested and the Board promptly complied in sending 
one of great elegance, richly embroidered with the names of the battles in 
which the Regiment had gained marked distinction, and with stars and strjpes 
so brilliant that the enemy could not mistake its character. The flag reached 
the Regiment January 10, 1863, and was presented by Chaplain Linn in :in 
eloquent address and gracefully accepteci la' Major Nash. 

The Regiment, now again reduced in numbers, required more men, and as 
it was very difficult to procure recruits in the Inisy fall season of 1S63, a letter 
was addressed to the Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War, explaining 


the situation and necessities of the Regiment, to which the War Department 
replied by ordering a detail of one hundred and fifty-two conscripts, about half 
the number required, which reached the Regiment late in October. 

During the following winter Col. Dandy, Lieuts. Stowits, Sandrock and 
others came to Buffalo, and with the assistance of the War Committee suc- 
ceeded in enlisting quite a number of men at high bounties. 

The campaign in Virginia, beginning early in the season of 1 864, was un- 
paralleled in activity and violence. It is unnecessary in this Preface to detail 
the severe and bloody contiicls, such as Drury's Bluff, Deep Bottom, Peters- 
burg, Hatcher's Run and others in which the looth suffered so severely that 
more men were required to fill the ranks. 

The War Committee, having since August, 1862, enlisted and sent to the 
Regiment some five hundred or more men and discontinued recruiting, found 
great difficulty in procuring recruits even at high bounties. 

The President of the Board again appealed to the Secretary of War, set- 
ting forth the valiant services of the looth Regiment, their recent losses in 
battle, the necessity of re-enforcement and the unsuccessful efforts of the 
Board of Trade in obtaining men in Buffalo. The Secretary replied favorably 
to the request by detailing two hundred and two conscripts which reached the 
Regiment in October, 1864. 

Let us now look at the numerical standing of the Regiment at different 
periods. On leaving Buffalo in March, 1862, there were on the muster-roll 
the names of nine hundred and sixty men, rank and file. After the battle of 
Fair Oaks in May following there were, according to the best information, 
only four hundred and fifty-one men in the Regiment. On November 7, after 
the adoption by the Board, there were eight hundred and eighty nine in all. 
On December 20, 1862, there were on the roll nine hundred and eighty-four 
rank and file, each company having ninety eight men. 

On March 8, iS6^, by the ofticial report, there were eight hundred and 
seventy-six rank and file. 


Original number of the regiment, 960 

Total number recruited and sent to the regiment by Board of Trade, . 511 

Conscripts detailed by the War Department, October, I S63, , . . 152 

Conscripts detailed by the War Dcp.-\rtment, October, 1864, . . . 202 

Total number of men . 1,825 

By this statement it appears that during the time of its service the Regi- 
ment required nearly as many men as were on the original roll to supply the 
losses caused by the usual casualties of war. While many were incapacitated 
by diseases common to all men, a much larger number were killed or disabled 
by wounds received in battle. Those unfit for diUy by disease or wounds were 
sent to the nearest hospital to take their chance with hundreds of others, fre- 
quently in over-crowded rooms, to be cared for by over-worked attendants. 
It is not surprising that the poor fellows soon became discouraged and home- 




sick; they wrote letters to the Board begging to be sent to Buffalo or some 
place near their homes. 

Applications were made to the proper medical departments and repeated 
until scores of the looth's men were sent to the hospitals at Buffalo where their 
friends could reach them. Letters from widows and wives of disabled men 
wanting help for their suff'ering families were frequently received, to all of 
which the War Committee gave proper attention and relief. 

On the 1st day of February, 1865, the Board of Trade gave a public 
reception to about one hundred and seventy veterans of the Regiment, who 
had passed through many hard-fought battles victoriously, whose term of tliree 
years' service had expired. The room was tastefully decorated with flags, 
conspicuous among them being the old banner presented to the Regiment in 
1862, eloquent in its tattered condition ; a sacred memento of the gallant 
courage of the men who defended it even unto death. 

After an address by the President and a substantial repast, hearty cheers 
were given for the old ffag and the Board of Trade, and with fervent hand- 
shaking and good wishes the meeting adjourned. 

The quiet of the Regiment's winter encampment before Richmond was 
broken early in the spring and with the army it was again on the march to new 
fields of victory. After several sharp engagements the Regiment fought its last 
battle in taking a prominent part in the assault and capture of Fort Gregg, but 
unfortunately suffered from the loss of ofificers and men, among the number 
killed being the gallant and much lamented Major James H. Dandy, at that 
time m command of the Regiment, who fell at the moment of victory. 

The rebel army, after four years of unequalled sanguinary conflict in which 
a constant succession of defeats had sapped its life-blood, now began to 
manifest decided evidence of weakness, and as the stupendous combinations of 
Grant were more distinctly revealed, all hope in the hearts of the leading 
spirits of the sham Confederacy was abandoned, and the War culminated by a 
general surrender at Appomattox in April, 1865, when the baseless fabric of 
rebellion went down with a crash never to rise again. 

And now we may ask, What are the results of this great war on 
which the nations of the civilized world gazed with wonder and astonish- 
ment. A million of human lives were sacrificed and thousands of millions of 
treasure lost, but in the providence of Almighty God the infamous curse 
of slavery which for generations had remained a blot upon the escutcheon of a 
free country, was, by an inevitable se([uence, swept away forever. The doubt- 
ful and often disputed problem of the permanence of a Constitutional Republic 
has been solved for all time, showing by a living example to all nations of the 
world, that the people are not only capable of governing themselves but fully 
competent to create and perpetuate the best form of government, "of the 
people and for the people,"' that the wr)rld has ever known. 

P'urthermore, tlie power, resources, inflexible courage and superior military 
qualifications so suddenly developed on both sides in the late war, practically 



demonstrate the ability of the country to take care of itself under any 
emergency which is ever likely to occur. 

The heavy clouds of war which so long hung over us are dispersed, 
and peace and prosperity, under a wise and benificent Government, are assured 
to all. May we not hope, and soon realize that reconciliation and friendly 
intercourse, which already seem largely established in the hearts of those 
recently engaged in deadly strife, will so increase that the imaginary lines 
of North and South will become blended and forgotten, and the people firmly 
united in the bonds of a common nationahty, kindred and interest, will 
remain for all time a free and independent nation. 

For all the blessings of peace let us give fervent thanks to Him the 
Supreme Ruler of the universe, Whose hand directs the destiny of nations; 
and to those men who, inspired with a brave and noble patriotism, gave up all, 
even their lives, to preserve the existence and integrity of the Constitution and 
the laws of their beloved country. 

To them, the noble and patriotic dead, and the living heroes, may the 
hearts of a generous and loyal nation, to the latest posterity, ever turn in 
grateful remembrance. 

In the compilation of this volume I am under obligations to the following- 
named gentlemen: — To Brig'r GenT George B. Dandy, for his interesting 
pages of reminiscences of the War and of the looth Regiment which he so 
ably and successfully commanded; also for a copy of the " Muster-out " roll 
of the Regiment procured from the War Department in Washington, and much 
other valuable matter. 

To Major George H. Stowits, for his historic sketches of the looth 
Regiment, in which he received promotion .from the ranks for distinguished 
services, also for a copy of the original *' Muster-in " roll of the Regiment and 
that of the field and staff officers, dates of commission, rank, etc. A finely 
executed map (by his own hand) of the harbor of Charleston, S. C, and its 
celel'rated islands, also an exceedingly interesting paper on the exploits of the 
famous, intrepid and heroic "Scout," Captain (subsequently) Lieut. Col. 
Lewis S. Payne, now residing at Tonawanda. 

To Capt. George Barnum, for his graphic description of the deadly 
assault en Fort Wagner in which he valiantly gained merited promotion. 

To Major Edward L. Cook, for his pages of interesting and cheerful 
touches of camp life during three years of arduous service in which he gained 
honorable promotion. 

To Lieut. Alfred Lyth, for a copy of his thrilling narrative of cruelty and 
suffering while a prisoner of war in the rebel *' stockade pens" of Anderson- 
ville and Florence. 

To Lieut. Col. Charles E. Walbridge, for 3, copy of his eloquent address 
at a reunion of the old meml^ers of the Jooih ^\egiI^lent in July, 1SS7 — an 
exceedingly interesting review of the 100th from its organization to the close 
of the War. 


I am also indebted to Capt. Charles E. Rauert, for a copy of his excellent 
address, as President of the looth Regiment Veteran Association, at the 
reunion in July, 1888. 


Conspicuous among the many treasures which the Buffalo Historical 
Society has gathered in recent years is a valuable collection of some 300 
originals and casts of Egyptian, Syrian and Assyrian antiquities. These, with 
miscellaneous articles — English armor of the XVIth Century, coins of many 
nations, oriental curios, etc., — were procured for the Society by Dr. Joseph C. 
Greene during a tour around the world. Well arranged and labeled, the 
Greene Collection is one of the strongest attractions of the Society's museum. 
Conspicuous in the collection is an Egyptian mummy, certified to be that of a 
high priest of Thebes. The richness of the wrappings and the decorations of 
the finely preserved sarcophagus, lend probability to the claim. The mummy 
is supposed to be about 3,500 years old. There are also shown a pair of 
sandals found with it when the tomb was opened. A mummied cat and a 
large number of genuine Egyptian relics are in the collection. 

Of chief value to the student, however, are the fine casts of famous 
tablets, stones, statues, etc., of which the priceless originals are preserved, 
some in the Museum at IJoulak, others in the British Museum or at the 
Louvre. In this department the following-named are noteworthy: Two stone 
tablets, bearing cuneiform inscriptions, being grants of land by one of the Kings 
of Babylon; a beautiful papyrus " Book of the Dead," seventy-six feet long, 
with a translation; the Sargon Stone, from Babylon, giving a history of Sargon, 
first King of Agada, Assyria, R. C. 3,800; the Siloam Tablet, discovered in 
1881, at Jerusalem, bearing an inscription in Phoenician, giving the history of 
the excavations between the Virgin Spring and Pool of Siloam, 700 years before 
Christ; two Babylonian seals, one of Darius the Great; statues of the Egyptian 
god O-iiris and goddess Isis ; the upper half of a statue of Rameses H., who 
oppressed the Children of Israel; the "Moabite Stone," from the Land of Moab, 
discovered in 1868, bearing an inscription in honor of King Mesha, giving, 
from a Moabitish point of view, an account of the struggles of that nation 
with Israel, nearly 900 years before the Christian Era; the Babylonian sun-god 
tablet; the " Black Obelisk," from Assyria, recording on its four faces, both 
by pictorial representation and by inscriptions, the annals of thirty-two year^ of 
Shalm.iiitser's reign, and twenty five successful campaigns against the nations 
bordering on the Assyrian Empire; a tablet bearing the Chaldean account of 
the Deluge; the " Rosetta Stone," an acfmicable replica of the famous slab of 
black basalt found near Ro^ttta in Egypt in 1799, and now preserved at the 
British Museum. This stone, it will be remembered, bears in triplicate a 
decree promulgated by the Egyptian priesthood of Memphis in 195 B. C. in 



honor of Ptolemy V. Epiphanes. The text, in uncial Greek, hieroglyphic and 
enchorial characters, gave to the modern world the key to Egygtian hieroglyphic 

As a whole, the Greene Collection represents not merely generous 
expenditure by a former president and constant friend of the Society, but 
admirable discrimination in the selection of objects. By means of it, the 
Society offers free advantages to the student of archaeology, language, and 
ancient history, to be found in but few places in this country, none of them 
near Buffalo, 


^^(& "^^/ 


Abbott, John S. C, 362. 

Abolitionists, 148. 

Ackerman, Rev. George E., D. D., 

Adams, Charles Francis, at Buffalo 

Free Soil Convention, 


named for Vice-President, 159. 
Adams, D. P., Black Rock publisher, 

"Adams, John," vessel, 45. 
Adams, John Quincy. 42 ; in Buff"alo, 


Adams, surveyor, ii, 13. 

Albany, E. D. Efner first visits, 35 ; 
returns to, 36, 37, 39, 49 ; Lucius 
Storrs at, 115; mentioned, 128, 
182, 186, 189, 190, 204; in 1812, 
261 ; early postal service, 308-310, 


Alexander, Rev. J., 340. 

Alexis, Neutral villai^e of, 228. 

Algonquins, 230-231. 

All Saints (Neutral village), see Kan- 

Allegheny River, 43. 

Allen, Lewis F., his sketch of \Vm. A. 
Bird ci/e(/, i. note : 87 ; his paper on 
" First Appearance, in 1832, of the 
Cholera in liuffalo," etc., 245-256; 
his service during cholera epidemic, 
246 et seq.: death, 253, jiote ; men- 
tioned, 268 269;' as author, 350- 


Allen, Orlando, 23. 416. 

Alumette Islands, 230. 

Alvord, Thomas G., 190. 

Amendments to New York State 
Constitution, considered by Con- 
vention of 1S9;, 19I-198. 

American Colonization Society, 81. 

Amherstburgh, Ont , 2, 240. 

Amikones( i3eavers j, Indian tribe, 231. 

Andastes, 2U, 232, 243. 

Andersonville, rebel "stockade pens" 
of, 423. 

Andrews, Dr. J. B., 377. 

Andrews, M. A., 267, 

Angelica, N. Y., 314. 

Annan, Miss Annie R., 366. 

Anne, Queen, gives coronet to Seneca 

chief, 28. 
Antioch College, Yellow Springs, O., 

Appletons American Cyclopcedia^ 

cited, 21. 
Appomattox, 422. 
Arey, Mrs. H. E. G., 362. 
Argus, George, 301. 
Aristotle, r/V,f^/, 177, 199. 
Armstrong, Major, of Ft. Niagara,ioo. 
Armstrong, John, Secretary of War, 
I 342. 

1 Ashtabula, O., in 181 [, 43. 
j Assemblies, General, in New York 

State, 170, 171. 
I Assembly, the, in New York State, 

genesis of, 166-167. 
I Astor's settlement on Columbia River, 

I Astors, their furs in Hudalo, 130. 
i Atkins, Lieut. Asael, 129. 
Atkins, Frances (Mrs. John Lay, q.v.^^ 
129, 130. 
\ Atkins, Mrs. Mary ("Widow At- 
< kins "), 121, 129. 
! Atlantic Ocean, 9. 
; Attiwandarons, see Neutrals. 
j Atwater, Mr., of Canandaigua, III. 
I Auburn (Hardenburg's Corner) in 

1808,38; early mail service, 314. 
j Aurora (East A.), Fillmore and 
\ Hall at, 287-288; early postal ser- 
! vice, 314. 
! Austin, Arthur W., 367. 
1 "Authors of Buffalo, Random Notes 
j on," by Frank II. Severance, 339, 

; 3S0- ' 

^ Avon, N. Y., 38; refugees from 
! HutTalo at, 118, HO, 120; on early 
post-route, 310, 314. 




Bache, Richard, 308. 

Bacon, S. G., 341. 

Bailey, J. N., 121. 

Bailey, Capt. Michael, 417. 

Bainbridge, Capt. William, anecdote 

of, 6. 
Baird, William, United States express 

rider, 44. 
Baker, Everett L , 363. 
Baker, Howard H., 300, note. 
Baker, Moses, 86. 
Baltimore, 314. 
Bancroft, Rev. Aaron, 97. 
Bancroft, George, historian, V//(f^, 19, 

32 ; mother of, 97. 
Bancroft, H. H., 372. 
Barcelona, Chaut. Co., N. Y., 4I ; see 

Barclay, Anthony, British Consul- 

General to United States, 2. 
Barclay, Thomas, appointed boundary 

commissioner, 2. 
Barker, George P., 152, 210. 
Barker, Jacob A., 108, note^ 1 1 2, 

note, 116, 416. 
Barker, Prof. J. \V., 362. 
Barker, Judge Zeuas Ward, 104, 

112, 116, 121. 
Barnard, Vt., 97. 
'•barnburners' or "Loco Focos," 151, 

Barnhart's Island, 7. 
Barnum, Capt. George, 423. 
Barrett, I/r. W. C, 377. 
Bartholomew's Fair, 138. 
Barton^ James L., 300, 351. 
Barton, Mrs. James L., 119. 
Basques (Indians), 230. 
Baiavia, in 1808,38; early post-office, 

3CK>; postal service, 1797, 310; 

first postmaster at, 31 1 and note\ 

mentioned, 86, 107, 348, 
Bayfield, Capt., of the British navy, 5. 
Beadle, E. F., 362. 
Beard, W. H., 379. 
Beauchamp's '> Indian Names in New 

York," citeii, 244, 7nte. 
Beavers (Amikone?), Indian tribe, 231. 
Beck, Dr. Lewis C, 207, 20S. 
Beck, Dr. Theodoric Romeyn, 207. 
Becker, August, 375. 
Becker, Tracy C., 190, 196, 375. 
Bedford, John M., 300, note. 
Beecher, Lyman, 113. 
Belfast, N. Y., 314. 

Bell, David, 359. 

Bellows Falls, Vi., 97. 

Bemis, James, 263-264. 

Benedict, Dr. A. L., 364. 

Benedict, Harriet E., 366. 

Bennett, D. S., 418. 

Bennett, Mrs. Emily Thatcher {nee 
Benton), 366. 

Bennett, Henry A., 301. 

Bennington, Vt., 261. 

Benton, Emily Thatcher, see Mrs. E. 
T. Bennett. 

Berry, J., 378. 

Bigelow, Rev. Albert, former Sec- 
retary Buffalo Historical Society, 
85 ; *' The Early Firm of Juba 
Storrs& Co.," 93-124; biographical 
data, 382-384 ; portrait, facing 93. 

Bigelow, Mrs. Albert (Maria Storrs), 

Bigelow, Allen G , 364, 367, 378. 

Bigelow, John, 190. 

Bigelow, Maria M. (Mrs. Samuel A.), 

Bigelow, Samuel A., 77, note : 
'* Reminiscences of Judge Samuel 
Wilkeson," 85-91 ; S. Wilkeson's 
first clerk, 86 ; cuts timber for " ex- 
periment pier," 88, note; men- 
tioned, 383. 

Bigelow, Walter Storrs, 367. 

Big Manitou Island, 4. 

Bird, Col. N., 144. 

Bird, William A., biographical note, 
I ; " Reminiscences of Boundary 
Survey between United States and 
British Provinces," 1-14; men- 
tioned, 12, 13, 14; in cholera epi- 
demic of 1832, 252; as author, 351. 

E^ird Island pier in 1 809, 40. 

Bishop, Gen. A. W., as author, 

Bissell, Gen. D., 50. 

Bixby, Dr. John, 12. 

" Black Obelisk " from Assyria, re- 
plica of, in Buffalo Historical Soci- 
ety Museum, 424. 

Black Rock Dam, see North BufTalo. 

Black Rock Harbor, recollections of 
(historical paper i//^-./), by K. W. 

* Haskins, 260; by Richard Will- 
iams, 366. 

Black Rock, men from, on boundary 
survey, 6; volume of tlow at, 8; 
road to, in 180S, 39; old ferry 



house at, 39 ; early trade route, 76 ; 
share in Erie Canal celebration, 77 ; 
ferry mentioned, 117, 237; inci- 
dents of cholera epidemic, 1832, 
251-253; postmasters at, 300; in 
speculative era of 1836, 334. 

Black Creek, 50. 

" Black Tony," 249: 

Blood, Dr., 46. 

Bloomfield, 38. 

Blossom, Col. Ira A., 288. 

Blossom, Thomas, 299, 300, note. 

Bonner, John C, 278. 

" Book of the Dead," 424. 

Booth, J. B., 141. 

Boston, Erie Co., 342. 

Boston, Mass., in 1823, 139-140. 

Bouchette, Joseph, cited^ 7. 

Boulak, museum at, 424. 

Boundary Survey between United 
States and British Provinces, I -14. 

Bowen, Dennis, 289. 

Boyce, C. W., 354. 

Boyd, Col., arrives at Pittsburg with 
4th United States Infantry, 1 81 1, 


Boyle, David, cited, 23 1. 

Bradford, WilUam, 185. 

Bradnack, Dr. F., 378. 

Brampton, Ont., 39. 

Brandon, Vt., 36. 

Brandy wine Creek, 75. 

" Brandt's {sic') Tavern," 39. 

Brant, Joseph (Thayendanegea), " Jo- 
seph Brant and the Old King," 
1 5-34; his part in Wyomin g massacre, 
22, 24-31 ; at Cherry Valley, 22, 27 ; 
"Anecdotes of" (Claus MS.), 23, 
24-31 ; protege of Sir \Vm. John- 
son, 24-25; visits England, 25; 
difficulties at Niagara, 26-27 ; with 
Col. Claus at Oswego, 27 ; at Ft. 
Stanwix, 28; subsequent opera- 
tions, 29-31 ; his house, III. 

Brantford, Ont., 99, ill. 

Brattlelioro, Vt., 259-261. 

Brebeuf, Jean de, among the Neu- 
trals, 228 ; leaves Quebec for 
Huron country, 233, 235 ; on the 
Niagara, 237-23S. 

Breed & Lent, 345. 

Bressani, Father, cited, 242. 

Bri^rgs, Herbert A., I90. 

Brinkerhoff, Jacob, I 51. 

Brisbane, Albert, 348. 

Brisbane, George, 348. 

Brisbane, James, 3 1 1 and note. 

Bristol, Dan, no. 

Bristol, Dr. Moses, 250, 

Bristol, N. v., 312. 

British Museum, 424. 

Brock, Gen. Isaac, Hull's surrender 

to, 45. 
Brodhead, John R., historian, cited, 

Bronsonfamily,flight from Buffalo,! 19. 
Broome, John, 173. 
Brown, Gen., 51, 118. 
Brown, John, abolitionist, 162. 
Brown "of New York,"builderof Str. 

"Superior," 88. 
Browne, Irving, 367-368. 
Browne, W. W., 375. 
Brownstown, battle at, 45. 
Bruce Peninsula, 231. 
Brule. Etienne, 235. 
Brush, Col., at River Raisin, 45. 
Bryant, J. C, 378. 
Bryant, William Clement, " Captain 

Brant and the Old King," 15-34; 

acknowledgment, 145; mentioned, 


Buffalo (" Buffalo Creek," New Am- 
sterdam), in 1808,37-38-39; E. D, 
Efner at, 41,45 ; " Pomeroy Mob" 
described, 46-47 ; the city incorpor- 
ated, April 20, 1832, 58; in 1800- 
1808, 103-104, 106; in 1810, 126;. 
National Free Soil Convention at, 
155-162; cholera visitation of 1832, 
245-254; of 1834, 254256; post- 
routes and mail service, 1797, 310; 
1S04-1808, 31 1; 1S14-1S43, 312- 
314; made a distributing office, 
1819, 312; the speculative craze of 
1836,317-337; land prices in 1S36, 
327,331; visionary projects, 332; 
authors of, 339 3S0. 

Buffalo Board of Trade Regiment 
(looih N. Y. Vols.), 416-424. 

Buffalo Co'ntncrcial Advei //.fc';([uoted, 
77 ; on Free Soil Convention, 156; 
its forerunner, 267. 

Buffalo Creek, ■}^'x,\ improvement for 
harbor, 77-79, 88-89; mentioned, 
104, Hj6; post-oflice of, 300, 311 ; 
.r.-'f- Buffalo. ^ 

Buffalo Female Academy, 50, 296,372. 

Buffalo, first book printed in, 340, 




Buffalo Gazette, 340. 

Buffalo harbor, tirst survey for, 77 ; 
construction loan secured, 78; 
work, how prosecuted, 78-79, 88-89. 

Buffalo High School Association, 266, 

Buftalo Historical Society, 85 ; por- 
traits owned by, 383; books owned 
by, 385,41 6; the Dr. Jos. C. Greene 
collection, 424-425. 

Buffalo /ournal, 265-267. 

Buffalo Library, the original, 340. 

Buffalo Literary and Scientihc Acad- 
emy, 58. 

Buffalo Lyceum of Natural Sciences, 
281, 340, 341- 

Buffalo Monnng Blxpress, 266, 278. 

Buffalo Xitioiial Pilot, 278. 

Buffalo Orphan .Asylum, 383. 

Buffalo Patriot and Journal^ 267, 


Buffalo Post-office, post-routes at, etc., 
see Postal Service. 

Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, 
how founded, 213, 281, 374. 

Buffalo Young Men's Association, its 
organization, 273, 340. 

Buell, J. S., 379. 

Bull, Joseph, 48. 

Bull, Mrs. L. A., 364. 

Burgher government in New York, 
powers of, 168. 

Burgoyne, Gen., 28-29. 

Burlington, Yt., 36. 

Burnetsfield (German Flats), 30. 

Burnha.m, Elisha H., 300. 

Burns, Robert, his MSS., 136. 

Burr, Aaron, 182. 

Burt, Mrs. George, 119, 416. 

Burt, David, 266. 

Burwell, Dr. Bryant, 250, 251, 341. 

Burwell, Theodotus, 341. 

Butler, Benjamin F., of New Y'ork, 
in Free Soil Convention of 1848, 
157-158; cited, 169-170 ; reviser of 
stattites, 1S4, 186. 

Butler, Frederick, 342. 

Butler, Col. Zebu Ion, at Old Fort 
Forty, 20. 

Butler, Col. John, at Fort Winter- 
moot, 20; mentioned, 24; his part 
in expeditions, 27-31 ; denies mas- 
sacre of non-combatants at Wyo- 
ming, 32. 

Butt's (Hutts's?) Company, War of 
1812, 127. 

Cacouna, 230. 

Cady, Judge, 190. 

Caldwell's Manor, 36. 

Caledonia, N. Y., 38. 

California, acquisition of, 15 1. 

Camp, J. G., 78. 

Camp, .Mrs. Maj. John G., 112, note. 

Campbell, Dr. F. R., 377. 

Campbell, 'Ihomas, his liardly vera- 
cious " Gertrude of Wyoming," 22. 

Canada, smuggling into, from Yer- 
mont, 36. 

Canadasege, 30. 

Canadian Archives, 24. 

Canadian Institute, Toronto, 228. 

Canajoharie, 24; early postal service, 


Canal improvement. New York State, 

'Canandaigua, in 1808, })% ; the Caryls 
and Cliapins at, 120; Jul)a Storrs 
& Co.'s dealings at, 122- 1 23 ; George 
W. Clinton at, 208-209 ; R. W. Has- 
kins at, 263, 264 ; early mail ser- 
vice, 309-313 ; Buffalo's hrst print- 
ing press from, 340. 

Canard River, 45. 

Candee, Joseph, 300, note. 

Caneadea, N. Y'., 314. 

Cape Yictory (Cape Massacre), 234. 

Carleton, Sir Guy, 26. 

Carlisle, Pa., 75. 

Carr, Margaret E., 364. 

Carragouha, 233. 

Carter, Jonathan W., 190. 

Gary, 'Irumbull, 107. 

Caryl, Alexander IL, lio, note. 

Caryl, Capt. Benjamin, birth, 95; 
apprenticeship, 97 ; early business 
ventures, 97-99; marriage, 97; 
failure and migration to Canada, 
99-102 ; comes to Buffalo in 1807, 
103-105; Caryl ^Co. unite with Juba 
Storrs, 108; their ventures, 109- 
122 ; removes to Williamsville.liO; 
during the War of 1812, Il6-I2i; 

opens" Caryl's Tavern," 
tioned, 266. 


Caryl, IJenjamin Clark, 95, 102. 120. 
Caryl, Catharine Church (^Mrs. Koval 
■ Colton, Mrs. Dr. W. IL Warner), 

\Ol,vf{\(\ note ; 120,266. 
Caryl, Eli/abeth Smith (Mrs. R. W. 

Haskins), 98, 120, 266. 
Caryl, Jonathan (^** John "),95,96, 99. 




Caryl, Mrs. Jonathan, 95. 
Caryl, Ur. Lucien W., 271-272. 
Caryl, Susan Young (Mrs. Lucius 

Storrs), 98, 120, 266. 
Caryl, William Young, 108, note. 
Caryl's Tavern (Crow's T., Landon's 
. T.), 123. 
Casey, John, 342. 
Cass, Col, 45. 

Cass, Gen. Lewis, 154, 162, 349. 
Cattaraugus Reservation, Seneca 

White's house on, 19. 
Cayuga Lake, '2^%. 
Chadiiourne, J. S., 361. 
Chamberlain, Ivory, 354. 
Chambersburg, Pa., 143. 
Chambly, River, 1 86. 
Champlain, Lake, survey monuments 

on, I, 1S6. 
Champlain, Samuel de, 230, 232. 
Champlin, Capt., Commodore, 120. 
Chandler,Bessie (Mrs. Leroy Parker), 

Chandler, H., 367. 
Chandler, Mr.,of ^Yorcester, Mass., 97. 
Chapeau Isle, 8. 
Chapin, Ameha, 1 18. 
Chapin, Col., 37, 49. 
Chapin, Dr. Cyrenius, monopolized 
Buffalo's drug business in 1810, 
57 ; hishouse, 1808, 105; a prisoner 
in Canada, 120; paroled, 120; in 
cholera epidemic of 1832, 250-253 ; 
as author, 342. 
Chapin, Louisa (Mrs. Weed), 118,119. 
" Chapin, Sylvia,. I r8. 
Chapin, W^illis O., 378. 
Chard, Thomas S., 367. 
Charleston, S. C, looth N. Y. Vol. 

Regt. at siege of, 420, 423. 
*' Charter of Freedom and Exemp- 
tions," 166. 
♦'Charter of Liberties "of 1683, 165, 

Chase, Salmon P., 157. 
Chatham, Out., 240. 
Chaudicre Falls (Lac la Pluie), 8. 
Chaumonot, Joseph NLirie (Josephus 
Maria Calmonolius), 226, 236-239; 
cited., 241. 
Chautau(iua (Chautauque) Lake, 75-76. 
Cherry Valley, Brant's raids, 27, 29, 

30; postal service, 1 794, 309. 
Chester, Rev. Albert T., D. D., 
343, 347, 373- 

Chester, Rev. Anson G., 351, 367. 

Chester, Vt., 95-98. 

Chestnutwood, Susan (Mrs. E. B. 

Perkins), 370. 
'* Cheveux-Releves '' \jrror in /exi'j, 

Chicago, before 1 82 1, 130. 
Child, Mrs. L. M., 361. 
China, N. Y., 314. 
Chippewa, Battle of, 50. 
Chippewa, Ont., 39, 117. 
Chippewa Creek, route for cholera in 

1S32, 246, 251. 
Choate, Joseph H., President New 

York Constitutional Convention of 

1894, 190, 191. 
Choate, Rufus, 191. 
Cholera in Buffalo, in 1832, 245-254; 

in 1834, 255. 
Christey, Ed. P., 363. 
Christiancy, Isaac P., 157. 
; Church, Sanford E., 157. 
I " Citizen's Company," the, of 1813- 

: 1814, 48. 

Cincinnati, 44, 367. 
! Clapp, Almon iSL, 300. 
j Clarence Hollow, 38. 
I Clark, Anna (xMrs. J. Caryl), 95. 
'•■ Clark, Capt. Orton S., 351. 

Clary, J., 268. 

Claus, Col. Daniel, his statement on 

Wyoming massacre, 21, note ; MSS. 

of, 2^; his "Anecdotes of Capt. 

I Joseph Brant," 24-31 ; dislike of 

Butler, 31. 
I Clay, Menry, 42, 131; his nomina- 
I tion, 150, 161. 
I Clement, Jesse, 361. 

Clermont, 309 

Cleveland Democracy, 374. 
j Cleveland, Grover, 354, 374. 
j Cleveland, 0., in iSii, 43; volun- 
I teers sent to, after I lull's surren- 
j der, 45 ; mentioned, 133. 
! Clinton, Charles, 203-205. 
! Clinton, DeWitt, 42; agency in 
i opening Buffalo Harbor, 87: Erie 
! Canal connnissioner, 89; in second 
j Constitutional Convention, 1S2 ; his 
t public career, 204205 ; death, 208. 

Clinton ,-I''ort, 204. 
I Clintpn, GeT)rge, tirst Governor New 
i York State, iSi ; his career in 
I brief, 204. 
j Clinton, Judge George W,, dele- 




gate Constitutional Convention of 
1867, 189; " Address Commemora- 
tive of," by David F. Day, 203- 
225; ancestry and kin, 203-205; traits 
and studies in youth, 206-208; ad- 
mitted to the bar, marries, comes to 
Buffalo, 209 ; legal and judicial 
career, 209-213; as scientist, 213- 
217; as writer, 215, 21 S- 220; death, 
221 ; tribute from Board of Regents, 
223 ; as author, 374. 

Clinton Herbarium, the, 217. 

Clinton, James, 204. 

Clinton Papers, the, at Albany, 217, 

Clinton, Thomas, 12. 

Clintonia, genera of plants named for 
Judge George W. Clinton, 207, 

Codes of Procedure, N.V. State, 187. 

Coe, Bela D., 123,313. 

Colchester, 36. 

Colchester Academy, 114. 

Cole, Luther, early mail carrier in 
Western New York, 310. 

Coleman, Mrs. J. H., 266. 

Coleman, John, 190. 

Coles Island, 420. 

Colton, Dr., 119. 

Colton, Mrs. Royal, 103, note. 

Columbia River, 13. 

Colve, Cape. Anthony, his Charter of 
1674, 168. 

Commercial Buildings, 108, note. 

Comm.on Law, introduced, 169; fol- 
lowed, 172-175; mentioned, 177; 

[Eli Hart's brother- 


preserved, 181 

Comstock, Mr. 
in-law], 127. 

Concord, X. V., 313. 

Conest<^ga wagons, 142. 

" Conrtance," schooner, 14. 

Congress, the Continental, 172; Pro- 
visional C. of 1776, 173; Provincial 
C, 178. 

Conneaut, O., in iSii, 43. 

Connecticut River, 2, 9, 12. 

Conover, George S., 23. 

Constantinople, 6. 

Constitutional Conventions in N. Y. I 
State: of 1777, 1S0-182; of iSoi, i 
182; of 182 1, 182-186; of 1846, ! 
186 189; of 1867, 189; of 1894,- i 
190 201. j 

Constituti(jnal Law in N. Y. State, j 
development of, 163-20!. I 

Conway, Katherine E., 366. 

Cook, Maj. Edward L., 423. 

Cooper, James Fenimore, 383. 

Cooperstown, 309. 

Copeland, Rev. Benjamin, 367. 

Complanter, 386. 

Cornwell, William C, 364, 376. 

Court House Park, Buffalo, 155, 158. 

Courts, establishment of, in N. Y. : 
C. of Justice, under West India Co., 
167; C. of Burgomasters and 
Schepens (Mayor's C., C. of Com- 
mon Pleas, merged in Supreme C), 
167, 180; C. of Chancery created, 
171, 180; C. of Errors, 171, 180, 
183, 187; C. of Judicature, C. of 
Sessions, C. of Common Pleas, 
172; C. of Probate, 172; Supreme 
C, 172, 175, 176, 180, 183. 184, 
187 ; C. of Appeals created, 187; 
changes in C. effected by Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1 894, I96. 

Covenanters in America, 71-72. 

Cox, Rev. Samuel Hanson, 381. 

Coxe, Rt. Rev. Arthur Cleveland, 
as author, 355-359 ; biographical 
data, 381-382 ; portrait of, frontis- 

Coyne, James H., 227 and note. 

Cranch, C. P., 362. 

Cronin, Rev. Patrick, 355, 367. 

Crosby, Dr. Eliakim, 102 and nole^ 

Crosby, Dr. Orris, 102, note. 

Crow's Tavern (Landon's T., Caryl's 
T.), 104, 123. 

Cuffee, Paul, 349. 

Culver, E. D., 151. 

Curtenius, Mrs. John L., 98, note. 

Curtis, George William, 189; his 
tribute to Judge George W. Clinton, 

^ 223. 

Gushing, Caleb, 22. 

Daillon, Joseph de la Roche, 232- 


Daly, Mrs. Emma S. (Mrs. R. W. 
Haskins, 2d), 275. 

Daly, John T., 275. 

Dana, Charles A., 371. 
-Dana, R. H., Jr., 157. 

Dandy, ikig.Gen. George B., com- 
missioned Colonel looth N. \'. 
Vols., 419 ; his early service, 420; 
acknowledgment, 423. 




Dandy, Maj. James H., 422. 

Darby, William, 13. 

Dart, Joseph, 351. 

Dauby, A. G., & Co., 264-265. 

Davidson, Dr. A. R., 377. 

Davis, Anthony, 119. 

Davis, George A., 190. 

Davis, Noah, 157. 

Davis, Robert, 348. 

Davis, William D., 301. 

Day, Follett & Haskins, 266-267. 

Day, David F., "An Address Com- 
memorative of George W. Clinton," 
203-225 ; as author, 374, 

Day, David M., 265. 

Dayton, O., 44. 

Deep Bottom, battle of, 421. 

De la Noue, 233. 

De Lancey, Bishop, 381. • 

De Russy, Lewis G., 13. 

De Witt, Charles, 1 73. 

Dearborn's Army on Niagara frontier, 

Dearborn, Fort, see Chicago. 

Delafield, Col. Richard, 13. 

Dellenbaugh, F. S., 363. 

"Democritus, Jr." (/5^«<f.), Rev. Or- 
lando Witherspoon, 370. 

Dennison, Col., 20, 21. 

Dennison, Rev. C. W., 362. 

Dennison, Mrs. Mary A., 362. 

Dequinder, Capt., 44. 

Deshler, J. G., 418. 

Detroit, E. D. Efner's venture at, 
42-43 ; events in Hull's campaign, 
44-45 ; rush for public lands in 
1836, 324-325. 

Detroit River, 4, 14. 

Deuther, Charles G., 355. 

Dewey, Dr. J. H., 378. 

Dibble, Orange H., 300-301. 

Dickie, James G., 300. 

Dixon, Col, loi. 

Dongan, Gov. Thomas, 171 ; estab- 
lishes post-routes, 305-306. 

Donohoe, Rev. Thomas, D. D., 351. 

Doolittle, James R., 152. 

Dorr, Eben P., 379. 

Dorrance, Col. Benjamin, 20, 31, 

Dor.sheimer, Philip, his political 
actjuaintance, 157 ; postmaster of j 
BufJalo, 300; as author, 354-355. j 

Dorsheimer, William, 375. 

Doty, E., 47. 

Doty, Gilbert, 36. 

Doty, Ruth, 35. 

Douglass, Maj. D. B., 13. 

Drummond, Gen., storms Fort Erie, 

Drury's Bluff, battle of, 421. 

Ducreux's map, 230. 

Duer, John, 182, 184, 186. 

Duer, William, 173. 

Duke of York, proprietary govern- 
ment under, 163-171, 174, 185. 

Dunkirk, N. Y., 334. 

Dutch administration in New York 
Colony, 163-17 1. 

Dutch West India Co., 163. 

Dye, Capt. Edwin P., 417, 

Dyo-hence-caw, Seneca name for the 
English, 16. 

Eagle Tavern, 63. 

East Aurora, see Aurora. 

Eastman, Sylvia J., 370. 

Eaton, Prof. Amos, 206, 207. 

" Echon," Indian name for Brebeuf, 


Edinburgh, John Lay in, 134-135. 

Edwards, Rev. Charles R., 378. 

Efner, Elijah D., autobiographical 
memoir, 35-54; visits Buffalo in 
1808, 39; returns, 40; various 
ventures, 40-43 ; at Detroit and 
Pittsburg, 43 ; at battle of Tippe- 
canoe in commissary department, 
44; enlists as private with Hull's 
army, taken prisoner by Brock, 
sent home, 44-45 ; experience of the 
" Pomeroy Mob," 46-47; at Fort 
Niagara, 47-48; the burning of 
Buffalo, 49 ; shares in campaign of 
1814 on the frontier, 50-53; partner- 
ship with Sweeney, 53-54; men- 
tioned, 88. 

Efner, loseph, father of Elijah D., 35. 

Egbert," Rev. J. P., 373. 

Eighteen-Mile Creek, 117, 

Eleven-Mile Creek, 115. 

Ellicott, Andrew, 4, 12, 13, 1 15. 

Ellicott, Joseph, Ebenezer Johnson 
seeks his aid, 57-58. 

Ellicottville, N. Y., 313. 

Elliott, G.'A., 144. 

Ellison, Ismar S., 351. 

Embargo, the, 36. 

Embarras River, 44. 





Erie County, N. Y., its formation, 
lo6, note ; delegates from, in Con- 
stitutional Convention of 1S94, 190; 
census of, 1821-1S60, 303. 

Erie Canal, celebration, completion 
of, 77 ; improvement of, under Con- 
stitutional Amendment of 1894, 

Erie, Fort, s^e Fort Erie. 

Erie, Lake, 2 ; boundary survey 
through, 4, 14; early trade route, 

Erie, Pa., in 1810, 43; Lucius Storrs 
at, 121; Willis >S: Fay at, 121; 
early families at, 130; John Lay at, 
144; early post-ottice, 300; postal 
service, 312-313; speculative invest- 
ments at, in 1S36, 334. 

Eries, the (nation), 231, 235. 

Esther, Queen, half-breed Indian, 21, 

Evarts, William ^L, 189. 

Fair Oaks, battle of, 418, 421. 

Falk, Rev. S., 351. 

Falmouth, 25. 

Farmer's Brother, 3S6. 

Farnham, Moulton, 286. 

Fell, Dr. George E., 377. 

Ferguson, James, of International 
Boundary Survey, 5, 13, 14. 

Field, David Dudley, 152. 

Fields, James T., 362. 

Fillmore, Hall & Haven, 2S9. 

Fillmore, Millard, 2 10 : early practice 
at (East) Aurora, 2S7 ; receives N. 
K. Hall as law student, 287-288; 
their law partnership, 28S ; appoints 
N. K. H. as U. S. Dist. Judge, 
291 ; becomes President, and makes 
his early law-partner Postmaster 
General, 294 ; mentioned, 341, 343, 
351, 354; as author, 374. 

First Presbyterian Churcli, 86. 

Fishback, Gov. of Arkansas, 352. 

Fisher, James H., 373. 

FishkiU", N. v., 178, 309. 

Fitch, Charles E., 190. 

Five Nations, see Iro(]uois. 

Flanders, Sergt , color bearer, Co. 
A, looth Regt. N. V. Vols., 420. 

Fletcher, Samuel, 98. no(e. 

Fletcher, Valinda, 98, note. 

?'lint. Dr. Austin, Jr., 377. 

Flint, Dr. Austin, Sr., ill. 

"Flint Hill," 47. 

" Flint Workers, The, a Forgotten 

People," 227-244; see Neutrals. 
Florence, rebel " stockade pens " at, 

Folger, Charles J., 189. 
Follett, Oran, 263-264, 266-267, 341. 
Folly Island, 420. 
Fond du Lac (Lake Superior), 8. 
Foote, Dr. Thomas M., 209. 
Forbes, E. A., 372. 
" Forbes " house, 50. 
Forsyth, Maj., at Scajaquada Creek, 


Fort Clinton, 204. 

Fort Dearborn, 130. 

Fort Erie, 40; early salt traffic, 4I ; 
captured troops and arms sent to, 
45; engagements at, 50-52 ; men- 

• tioned, 128. 

Fort Forty, see Old Fort Forty. 

Fort George, 37, 47; invested by 
U. S. troops, 50-51. 

Fort Gregg, capture of, 422. 

Fort Groton, massacre at, 55. 

Fort Independence, Boston, Mass., 43. 

Fort Niagara, Brant's difticukies at, 
26, 27 ; Butler leads Indians from, 
28 ; expeditions against Cherry 
I Valley, Wyoming, etc., planned at, 
I 29, 30 ; Old King at, 33 ; Claus 
I narrative dated at, Sept., 1778, 
I 24-31 ; engagement of May, 18 1 3, 
I 47-48; incident, 1804, loo; flag 
; from, at Whitehall, 139; mail ser- 
i vice prior to 1800, 310. 
I Fort Schuyler (Utica), early mail ser- 
! vice at, 309. 
, Fort Stanwix, 27, 28, 29, 31. 
1 Fort Wagner, the 1 00th N. Y. \'ols. 
I at, 420, 423. 

\ Fort William, 5 ; picture of life at, in 
j 1823, 6. 
I Fort \\ intermoot, 20. 
! Forward, Oliver, 78, 79, ?>S. 
i Foster, IHisha, 49. 
I Foster, Ezekiel, ill, I16, 121. 
I Fourierism in Western New York, 548. 

Fowl Lakes, 10. 

Fowler, Robert L., his " Histor}' of 

* the Law of Real Property" citai, 
1S5. « 

Fox, Carlton, 116, 415. 
Francis, John .NL, 190. 
Frank, Augustus, 190. 




Franklin, Benjamin, as Colonial Post- 
master-General for N. A., 306-307 ; 
for the United Colonies, 308. 

Fraser, Donald, 12. 

Fraz-er River, 13. 

Fredonia, N. V., 144, 314. 

Free Soil party, its origin, 15 1; see 
National Free Soil Convention. 

Fremin, Father, cited, 244. 

French Creek, 43; route, 133. 

French River, 230, 243. 

Frenchiown (Munroe), 43. 

" Fugitive Slave Law," 162. 

Fullerion & Caryl, 97. 

Fullerton, Henry X., 97, note. 

Fullerton, Nathaniel, 97. 

Fullerton, Thomas, 97. 

Fundy, Bay of, point in boundary 
survey, 2, 3. 

Furness, H. H., 354. 

Gaius, 199. 

" Galatea," vessel, 139. 

Gallatin, Albert, mentioned, 131, 

Gandougarae, 244 and note. 

Ganson, John, 152, 157. 

Gaspians, 230. 

Gamier, Jesuit, 242. 

Gay, Dr. "Charles C. F., 377. 

George IV., coronation fetes, 134. 

George, Fort, see Fort George. 

George, Lake, 10. 

Georgian Bay, 243. 

Genesee, N. Y., early post-route, 310, 

Gen-esee River, 243. 
Geneseo, 'b(^. 157. 
Geneva, N. Y., 38 ; Chapin and Caryl 

families at, 120 ; early mail service, 

Gentsch, Bernard F., 300, note. 

German Flats, 31. 

Germain, Lord, 32. 

Germain, RoUin, 2S1. 

" Gertrude of Wyoming," see Thomas 

Ghent, Treaty of, see Treaty. 
Gibbon's " Decline and Fall of the 

Roman Empire," cited, 241. 
Gilbert, John L, 190. 
Giddings, Joshua R., 157. 
Gilbert family, })i. 
Gilbert, Ira, 38. 
Gildersleeve, Mrs. C. H., see Mrs. C. 

iL G. Longstreet. 

Gillett, Joseph, 48. 

Gilman, Daniel C, '^Z'i^. 

Gluck, James F., 365, 375. 

Gluck, Mrs. James F., 366. 

Godard, William, establishes Ameri- 
can postal service Independent of 
British, 307. 

Goodell, Deacon Jabez, 86. 

Goodliue & Co., 41. 

Gooley, Joseph, 45. 

Goodrich, Russell, 144. 

Goss's Tavern, 38. 

Gould, Judge, of Litchfield, Conn., 

Grand Island (in Niagara), 8. 

Grand (or Long) Isle (in St. Law- 
rence), 7. 

Grand River, O., 43, 76. 

Grand River, Ont., 117. 

Granger, Erastus, 56-57; first post- 
master of Buffalo, 300, 301 ; Indian 
Agent, his published speeches, 340, 

^ 385-414- 
Granger Farm, 47. 
Granger, Hon. Gideon, 300, 312. 
Granger, Hezekiah, 57. 
Granger's house, first frame house 

w^est of Batavia, 39. 
Granger, Col. James N., Jr., 385. 
Granger, Dr. William D., 377. 
Grant, Vincent, 104. 
Graves, Ezra, 1S9. 
Graves, Gen. John C, 375. 
Gray, Asa, 208. 
Gray, David, mentioned, 351 ; as 

poet, 365. 
Great Britain, 2, 7. 
Greeley, Horace, 1S9. 
Green, Anna Katharine (Mrs. Charles 

Rohlfs), 369-370. 
Green, Rev. Rufus S., D. D., 373. 
Green Bay, Wis., 334. 
Greenl)ush, N. Y., mentioned, 128, 

Greene, James W\, 379. 
Greene, Dr. Joseph C, collection 

of anlicjuities given to Bulfalo His- 
torical Society, 424-425. 
Grenaile, French trader, 233. 
Grimes, J. Stanley. 347. 
Gris\v*)lcl, John A., 190. 
Groe^becti, soldier, wounded at Black 

Rock, 49 
Grosvenor, .Abel, mistaken for Pom- 

eroy l)y mob of 1812, 46. 



Grosvenor, Seth, 49. 

Grote, Augustus Radcliffe, 366, 374, 

Groton, Fort, massacre at, 55. 
Grover, Martin, 151, 152, 157. 
"Growler," vessel, in War of 1812, 

Grueber, Erwin, cited, 199. 
Guide-board Road (North St.), 39. 
Gui-en-gwa-toh, see Old King. 
Guiteau, Julius, 300-301. 
Guizot, cited, 194. 
Gurteen, Rev. S. Humphreys, 373. 

Haddock, Charles C, 300-301. 

Hague, The, American minister at, 
protests against the boundary deci- 
sion, 3. 

Hale, Horatio, cited, 16. 

Hale, Col. John, 13. 

Hale & Brigham, 415. 

Hall, Gen. Amos, 302-303. 

Hall, Ira, 2S6. 

Hall, Dr. Jonathan, 286. 

Hall, Mar>' L., 366. 

Hall, Nathan Kelsey, mentioned, 
210; memoir of, by Hon. Jas. O. 
Putnam, 285-298 ; his birth and 
youth, 2S6; studies law with Mil- 
lard Fillmore. 287-288 ; clerk Hol- 
land Land Co.,28S; early official 
positions, 288-289; characterized as 
alawyer, 289-290; U. S.Dist. Judge, 
291-293 ; his legislative career, 294 ; 
Postmaster-General, 294-295 ; his 
public spirit and nobility of charac- 
ter, 295-297 ; marriage, death, 298 ; 
paper on " The Postal Service," by 
N. K. Hall and Thomas Blossom, 

Hall's "History of Eastern Vermont," 
cited, 96. 

Hall's Stream, 10. 

Hallam, Henr\', cited, 198. 

Hamanistigua River, 9. 

Hamburg, X. Y., 312. 

Hamilton, Alexander, 1S9, 197. 

Hamilton, Andrew, 306. 

Hamilton, Dr. Frank Hastings, 377. 

Hamilton College, 206, 209. 

Hamlin, Hannibal, 151. 

Hanovertown, 144. 

'* Harbor-maker, The, of Buffalo," 
term applied to Judge Wilkeson, 

Hardenburg's Corner, see Auburn. 

Harlem, 178. 

Harlem Bridge, 141. 

Harper, Lydia, a heroine of cholera 

epidemic of 1832, 254-256. 
Harrington, Isaac R., 300. 
" Harriot," packet, 25. 
Harris, Charles H. ("Oof T. Goof"), 


Harris, Ira, 187. 

Harris, Very Rev. William R., Dean 
of St. Catharines, *' A Forgotten 
People : The Flint Workers," 227- 

Harris Hill, 118. 

Harrison, Jonas, 77. 

Harrison, Gen. \V. H., holds Indian 
council, March 4, 1812, 44. 

Hart, EIi,his war claim, 122; his Buf- 

. falo business, 126; adventures dur- 
ing War of 1812,127-128. 

Hart & Lay, 77; business ventures, 

Hartman, Katharine i^pseud.?), 370. 

Hartzell, Rev. J. Hazard, 367. 

Haskins, Charles H., 266. 

Haskins, Clarissa, 258. 

Haskins, C. C, 259, 266. 

Haskins, Eliza, 266. 

Haskins, Emma (^Mrs. T. C. White), 

Haskins, George W., 266, 280. 

Haskins, John, 258. 

Haskins, John F., 266. 

Haskins, Roswell Willson, " Inci- 
dental notices of," by L. F. Allen, 
245-256; memoir of, by L. G. 
Sellstedt, 257-284 ; as member of 
Board of Health in 1832, 246, 248, 
268; anecdotes of, 250-253; birth 
and childhood, 258-259; apprenticed 
to book-binder, 260 ; seeks work, 
261 ; enlists, becomes corporal, 262; 
at Canandaigua, 263 264; moves to 
ButTalo, 265 ; marriage, business 
ventures, 266-267 ; scientific pur- 
suits, 269-272; Buffalo's first Super- 
intendent of Schools, 273; second 
marriage, 275 ; his publications, 
274-277 ; editorial work. 278; anec- 

- dotes of, 27S-279, 281-282; appear- 
ance arvfi character. 2S2-2S4; death, 
284 ; as author. 34S. 

Haskins, Sarah (Mrs. John H.), 25S. 

Haskins, William B., 260. 





Hasler, Prof., 13. 

Hatch, Israel T,, 300. 

Hatcher's Run, looth Regt., N. Y. 
Vols, at, 421. 

Haven, Antoinette, 366. 

Haven, Solomon G., 210 ; in firm of 
Fillmore, Hall & H., 289; tribute 
to his memory, by Hon. James O. 
Putnam, 289-290. 

Hawkins, Col. Samuel, ii, 12, 13. 

Hay ward, John, 305. 

Hazard, Ebenezer, '^c'i. 

Hazard, George S., 416, 417, 418. 

Hazelton, Mehitable. 98, note. 

Heacock, R. B., 267. 

Headley, J. T., 361. 

Height of Land, Lake of, 10. 

Henderson, Chester, 227. 

Hendrick, King, 16. 

Henshaw, Capt. Charles H., 417. 

Herbert, Hon. Hilary A., 352. 

Herkimer, E. D. Efner at, 37, -^Z. 

Herryman family, murder of, 44. 

Hey wood, R. H., 97. 

Hiawatha, a real person, not myth- 
ical, 16, tiote. 

Hibbard, Daniel, 300. 

Hibbard, George, 367, 370. 

Hill, Henrj- W., " Development of 
Constitutional Law in New York 
State," 163-201 ; member Consti- 
tutional Convention of 1894, 190. 

Hinson, Capt. George, 417. 

Hobart, John Sloss, 173. 

Hodge, Philander, 60. 

Hodge, William, 351. 

Hogg, James, 136. 

Holland, N. Y., 314. 

Holley, S. J.,418. 

Holmes, John, of Maine, U. S. bound- 
ary commissioner, 2. 

Holmes, Mr., son-in-law of Dr. C. 
Chapin, 40. 

Holmes, Mrs. (Sylvia Chapin), 1 18. 

Holt, John, 307. 

Home Rule, how secured to N. Y. 
State cities, 194-195. 

Hooker & Co., 121. 

Hopkins, Dr. H. R., 377. 

Hornadav, William T., 370. 

Horner, W. T., 363. 

Hosmer, Rev. George Washington, 

Hosmer, James K., 353-354. 

Hotchkiss, William Horace, 351. 

Houston, Gen. Sam, 149. 

Howard, James H. W., 370. 

Howe, Dr. Lucien, 377. 

Howe, Sir William, 25, 26, 181. 

Howell, S. W., 418. 

Howells, W. D., cited, 352. 

Howland, Henry R., 367, 378. 

Hoyt, Joseph, 49. 

Hubbard, Elbert, 370. 

Hubbardstown, Mass., 95. 

Hubbell, John, " The National Free 
Soil Convention of '48," 147-162. 

Hubbell, Mark S., 379. 

Hudson Bay Company, 6. 

Hudson, N. Y., 261, 309. 

Hull, Commodore Isaac, and the 
"Constitution," incident of, 263. 

Hull, Gen. William, incidents of his 
campaign, and surrender of De- 
troit, 44-45. 

Hull, William, of Cleveland, O., 103. 

Hunt, Sanford, postmaster at Batavia, 
1 801, 311, note. 

Hunt, Rev. Sanford, D. D., as author, 

Hunt, Ward, 157. 

Huron-Iroquois family, 230-231, 241. 
Huron, Lake, 2, 3 ; boundary survey 

through, 4, 14. 
Huron nation, 231, 234, 235, 237- 

239, 242, 244. 
Huronia, 233-235, 237. 
Hurst, Rev. John F., D. D., 372-373. 
Hutchins, Rev. C. L., 378. 
Hutchinson, Abby, 362-363. 
Hutchinson, John W., 362. 

Independence, Fort, Boston, Mass., 

Indian execution. Main St., Buffalo, 

Indian Show of Storrs& Co., 415-416. 

Inglehart, F. M., "Buffalo's First 
NIayor, Dr. Ebenezer Johnson," 
55-69; cited, 88, note. 

" Institutes of Justinian," 199, 200. 

Irving, N. Y., 334. 

Iroquois peoples : habitat, 15; char- 
acteristics, 16. 

Iroquois River, see St. Lawrence River. 

" Island of Ghosts," see Manitoulin. 

Isle au 5ioix,«i2. 

Isle Canbanif, 8. 

Isle La Motte (Isle a La Mothc), 
Vt., 186. 



Isle Royale, point in boundary survey, 
5, 8/9, 10. 

Ives, Albert C, 363. 

" Izaak Walton of America," term 
applied to Judge George W. Clin- 
ton, 215, 374. 

Jackson, Gen. Andrew, 425 ; Samuel 
Wilkeson's resemblance to, 74, 84; 
mentioned, 131. 

James II. of England, 171. 

Jameson, Dr. John A., cited, 182. 

Jamesville, 3S. 

Jay, John, in Provincial Congress, 
173, 178, 180, 182; Chief Justice 
SupremeCourt, l8i; mentioned, 189. 

Jenkins, Steuben, citeii, 32. 

Jesuit Relations, 230, 238, 244. 

Jewett, Mrs. Josiah {nci Hall), 298. 

Jones, Amanda T., 365. 

Jones, Dr. Reuben, 96. 

Jones, Samuel, iSi. 

Johnson, Crisfield, 350. 

Johnson, Capt. Ebenezer, 5556. 

Johnson, Dr. Ebenezer, birth and 
ancestry, 55-56; settles in Buffalo, 
57-59; chosen mayor, 58; business 
association with Judge \Vdke>on, 
59 ; anecdotes of, 60, 61, 63, 64 68 ; 
work in behalf of Buffalo harbor, 
61-62; his daughter's elopement, 
the true version, 65-67; family data, 
69 ; his character, 59, 64, 69 ; 
mentioned, 76, 78, 88, 89 ; service 
during cholera epidemic of 1832, 
246, 24S, 251, 26S-269. 

Johnson, George, 300. 

Johnson, Col. Guy, 23, 26. 

Johnson, Hank, 14. 

Johnson, Herbert, 69. 

Johnson, G. W., 341. 

Johnson, Sir John, his Royal Greens 
at Ft. Wintermoot, 20. 

Johnson, Mary E. (Mrs. Lord), 69. 

Johnson, Mortimer F., 60-61. 

Johnson, C)liver, 121. 

Johnson, Rossiter, 369. 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, d//tv/, 344. 

Johnson, Sallv M. (Mrs. Inglehart), 

Johuson, William, 69. 

Johnson, Sir WiUiam, fortifies Kan' 
adesaga, 17; befriend^ l>rant, 24,26. 

Johnson, one of l'erry\ gunners, 49. 

Johnson ^S: Wilkeson, 77. 

Johnston, William, Indian Agent, 

Johnston, Jack, 108. 
Johnston, James N., 364. 
Johnston, Capt. William, 1 1 2, note. 
Johnstown, N. Y., mail service in 

1794, 309- 
Jones, Samuel, i8i, 1S4. 
Judd, Carrie F., see Mrs. Carrie F. J. 

Judiciary of New York State, see 

Justinian, Institutes of, 199, 200. 

Kah-K\v.\hs, the, branch of Neu- 
trals, q. V. 
Kanadesaga, Seneca village, 17, 19, 

'Kanandaigua, see Canandaigua. 
Kanawha Salt Works, 76. 
Kandoucho (All Saints), Neutral 

village, 237. 
Kane, Capt. Robert, 37, 49. 
Kean, Edmund, 138. 
Keith, George, 1 10. 
KcUicott, Prof. D. S., 374. 
Kelly, Sergt. Daniel G., 351. 
Kelsey, Nathan, 286. 
Kent, Chancellor James, 1S2, 184,189, 

200; his style compared with that 

of Judge George W. Clinton, 212. 
Kent, William W , 379. 
Kerby, William (i/ii-'/zA/ l>e "Kirby"), 

Ketchum, William, " History of 
Buffalo," cited, 22 ; as author, 

Ketchum Memorial Fund, 296. 
Khioetoa (St. Michael), 238. 
Kieft, Director- General William, 166. 
Kinderhook, 3C9. 
King, Preston, 151, 152, 157. 
King, Rufus, 182. 
Kingsbridge. 178. 
Kingston, N. Y., 17S, 180. 
Kingston, Ont., cholera at, in lSj2, 

Kin;4ston, Roane (.'o., lenn., 84. 
_Kirby, William (Kerby), 23. 
Kifkland, Rev. Samuel, liis life in 

dangot, 19, T,},. 
Ivicin, I lenry, 378. 
Kohn, Rev. Solomon, 378. 
Kremlin triangle, 70; block, 77, 87. 





Labeo, M. Antistius, 199. 
Lac la Pluie, 8, 9, 10. 
♦' Lafayette," packet-boat, 206. 
Latiteau, Father, 242. 
Lake of the Woods, point in bound- 
ary survey, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14. 
Lalemant, Father, 238. 
Landon family, at Williamsville, 1 18. 
Landon, Joseph, 303. 
Landon's Hotel (Mansion House), 

Landon's Tavern (Crow's Tavern, 

Caryl's Tavern), 123. 
Langiile, Rev. J. H., 373. 
Lansing, Chancellor John, 200. 
" Large Ears," the, ste Ottawas. 
Lamed, J. N., 365, 376-377. 
Larzelere, Abraham, 50. 
Lathrop, Deborah, mother of Dr. 

Ebenezer Johnson, 55. 
Laughters (Indian tribe), see Papin- 

Lay, Frances E. (Mrs. John L.), 128. 
Lay, John, comes to Buffalo, 1810, 

126; experiences in War of iSr2, 

127-128; made partner of Eli Hart, 

129; their prosperous ventures, 

130-13 1 ; journey to New Orleans, 

132-133 ; voyage to Liverpool, 134; 

in England and Scotland, 134-139; 

return journey, 139-145. 
Lazell & Francis, Buffalo publishers, 

Lebanon, Conn., 114. 
LeBoeuf, 43. 

LeCaron, Father, 232, 233. 
LeCouteulx, Louis, 40; his drug 

store, 104; first clerk of Niagara 

County, 107 ; wedding at his 

house, 130. 
LeCouteulx, Mrs. L., 49. 
LeRoy, 86. 

LeRoy, N. V., early mail service, 310. 
LeVailee, 233. 
Leech, Elijah, 109, note. 
Leisler, Jacob. 171. 
Letchworih, Josiah, 364. 
Letchworth, William P., lOO, note: 

109, note : as author, 364. 
Lewis, Dr. F. Park, 377. 
Lewis, Morgan G., 300. 
Lewiston, E. D. Efner at, in 1809, 

40: early salt traftic, 41, 76; Bcnj. 

Caryl at, loi. 
Lexington, Ky., 44. 

L'Hommedieu, Ezra, 197. 
Lidstone, Hon. James T. S., 359360. 
Lincoln, Abraham, xbz. 
Linden, Charles (Carl), 372, 374. 
Linn, Chaplain, looth Regt. N. V. 

Vols., 420. 
Litchfield, Conn., 106, 113, 208. 
Little York, see Toronto. 
Liverpool, 134, 135. 
Livonia, N. Y., 312. 
Livingston, Robert R., 173; as 

Chancellor, iSl, 1S9, 200. 
Livingston, ^Yalter, Speaker first 

New York Legislature, 181. 
Livingston, William, 1S4. 
Locke, James, 374. 
Lockport, 310, 341. 
"LocoFocos" or "Barnburners," 151. 
London, Eng., Joseph Brant in, 25. 
Londonderry, 75. 
Long Lsland, 25. 
Long Point, 99. 
Longstreet, Mrs. C. H. G.(Mrs. C. H. 

Gildersleeve), 362, 363, 364. 
Lord, Emily B , 366. 
Lord, Rev. John (father of John C. 

Lord), 69. 
Lord, Rev. Dr. John C, his house, 

65 and note: his elopement, 65- 

67 ; his paper on *' Samuel Wilke- 

son," 71-S5; mentioned, 209; as 

author, 344-346. 
Lord, Mrs. John C , 372. 
Lord, Lucy E. (Mrs Dr. Johnson), 69. 
Lossing, B. P\, cited, 170. 
Lothrop's " Life of Kirkland," cited, 

Louisville, Ky., 44. 
Louvre, museum of the, 424. 
Love, Thomas C, 53, 89. 
Love v.^ Tracy, 77. 
Lovejoy, Rev. Elijah P., 353. 
Lundy's Lane, incident in battle of, 


Lyma (I. 

,), N. Y., z'^. 

Lyth, Lieut. Alfred, 423. 

McArthur, leads expedition with 

Cass, 1812, 45. 
Macaulav, T. B., cited, 173-174. 
McUal],'l)r.. 84. 
McColirMarN; J., 366. 
McCucn. Timotliy, 49. 
McDonough, Lieut., killed at 1-ort 

Erie, 52. 

440 INDEX, 

"McHose House, the," 247. 

Mcintosh, William, 367. 

Mackinac, Mackinaw, 5, 6, 243. 

McLaughlin, Judge C. B., 190, 

McMillan, Daniel H., 190. 

McPherson, Judge, 252. 

"Magna Charta," 181, 200. 

Mahany, Rowland B., 367. 

Mahoning Co., O., 75. 

Maine, Sir Henry J. S., cited, 1 80. 

Maiden, 44-45. 

Malvern Hill, battle of, 420. 

Manchester, B. A., 278. 

Manhattan, 334. 

Manitouwoc, 334. 

Manitoulin (''Island of Ghosts"), 

Manly, Charles, 301. 

Manlius Square, 38. 

Mann, Abijah, 152. 

Mann, C. f,, 418. 

Mann, Dr.' M. B., 377. 

Mansfield, Conn., 105. 

Mansion House, 123; Free Soil 
conferences at, 157; mentioned, 

March, Dr. 207. 

Marcy, William L., 375. 

Marshall, Charles D., 350, 364. 

Marshall, John E., 264, 24S, 254, 
268, 271. 

Marshall. Hon. O. H., his interviews 
with Seneca White, 19; early resi- 
dence, 121, note; partnership with 
N. K. Hall, 289; as author, ^50. 

Marvin, Jasper, early mail carrier in 
Western New York, 310. 

Marvin, Le Grand, 375. 

Marvin, Richard P., 1S7. 

Mascoutin, the (Nation of Fire), 231. 

Masten, Judge Joseph G , 211. 

Mather, l^avid, 104, 115. 

Matthews, James N., 372. . 

Mayville ( Slaysvillej, 41-42, 144. 

Maumee River, 44. 

Maumee, town, 43. 

Mecklenberg, N. C, convention and 
bill of rights, 72. 

Metcalf, John, ran early stage-routes 
in Western New York, 311-312. 

Metcalfe, James S., 364. 

Metjarmette portage, 10. 

Mexico, war with, 149 151. 

Miamis, the, 231. 

Michilimackinac, 5. 

Micmacs, the, 230. 
Middaugh, Martin, 88, 103. 
Middlebury, Vt., 36. 
Middlebury College, 105, 113. 
Milburn, John G., 375. 
Militia, of N. Y. State, 197. 
Mill, John Stuart, cited, I94. 
Miller, Capt., 44. 

Miller, Col. James, victory at Browns- 
town, 45; gallantry at Lundy's Lane, 

Miller, Maj., 73-74. 
Mills, J. Harrison, 353, 364. 
Mission of the Holy Angels, 237. 
Mississagues, the, 231. 
Mistassini, the, 230. 
Mitchell, Rev. S. S., D. D., 373. 
Mixer, Mary E., 364. 
" Moabite Stone," the replica of, in 

Buf. Hist. Soc. Museum, 424. 
Mohawk River, Brant's ravages on, 

26, 31 ; E. D. Efner on, 40; trans- 
portation route, 126. 
Mohawks, 242, 243. 
Molineaux, on Ridge Road, 41. 
Montagnais, the, 230, 235. 
Montesquieu, cited, 178. 
Montgomery, Mrs. (Carrie F. Judd), 

l^\, 365-366. 
Montgomery, Mrs. Henry E., see 

Dorothy Tanner. 
Montreal, 2, 29 ; E. J. Efner at, 3637 ; 

John Lay at, 128; cholera of 1S32, 

Moon, Mr., at Fort Erie, 41. 
Moore, Sir Henry, Governor of New 

York, I. 
Morgan, Lewis H., cited, 16. 
Morris, Gouverneur, 173, 1S9. 
Morris Island, 420. 
Morrison, Mr., of international bound- 

or)- survey, 5. 
Morse, Charles E., 364, 417. 
Moscow, N. Y., early mail service, 

Mossell, Rev. C. W., 370. 

Moulton, C. W., 364. 

Mullet, John, 37 ; Talmadge A; M., 

40; in " Pomeroy Mob," 46. 
M-'.ligan, Ed, H., 37S. 
Munroe (Frenchtown), 43. 
'?-'i;rchison, John, 40. 
Murrhv* Henry C, 1S7. 
My-ders' Mills, i'^. 




♦* Nancy," schooner, 45. 

Nash, Daniel B., 417. 

Nash, Francis Philip, 357. 

Nash, Major, looth Regt. N. Y. 
Vols., 420. 

"Nation of Fire," 231, 241 ; see 

National Free Soil Convention of '48, 

Neebish Rapids, 5. 

Neele, Thomas, 306. 

Nelson, Samuel. 182, 187, 189. 

Netherlands, King of, arbiter in 
boundary survey, 3. 

Neutrals, the (Indian nation), their 
earthwork remains, 227-228; vil- 
lage life, 229; an ethnologic 
problem, 231 ; missions among, 
232-239; their control of chert 
beds, 239-240; licentiousness, 241 ; 
extinction, 242-244. 

New Albany, Ind., 281. 

New Amsterdam (Buffalo^ Creek), 

New Amsterdam (New York), 166, 

New Buffalo, 334. 

New Haven, Conn., 114. 

New London, Conn., 115. 

New Netherland (New York), 164, 
165, 1 66. 

New Orleans, John Lay at, 1822, 

New York City, mentioned, 2, 178, 

261, 418; incident Hull and the 

"Constitution," 263; early postal 

service, 307, 309, 312. 
New York Journal of Comf?ierce, 

qnoled, 84. 
Newark, Ont., see Niagara, Ont. 
Newport, R. L, 114. 
Niagara County, N. Y., its formation, 

106, tJote\ bar of, in 1 80S, 106-107 ; 

population of, 1 808- 1 820, 300. 
Niagara Falls, mill at, 1S12, II7; 

early mail service, 310-314. 
Niagara, Fort, see Fort Niagara. 
Niagara, Ont., road to, in 180S, 39; 

Dearborn's attack, 47 ; John Lay 

at, 128. 
Niagara portage, the, 76. 
Niagara River, 2, 37; survey of, 4, 7; 

volume of flow, 8 ; did Daillon 

cross? 234; Iroquois cross, A. D. 

1650, 243. 

Nichols, Thomas C, 37 1. 
Nicholson, Capt. John, 417. 
Nicolls, Governor Richard, Charter 

of, 167. 
Niles, Henry, 142. 
Niles's Register, died, 12, 142. 
Nimiskan, Lake, 230. 
Nipissing, Lake, 230. 
Nipissings, the (Sorcerers), 230. 
Non-Intercourse Act, United States 

and Canada, 36. 
North Buffalo (Black Rock Dam), 

post-office at, 301-302. 
Northwest Company, 6. 
Norton, El>enezer F., 78. 
Norton, Charles D., 351. 
Norton, Charles P., 375. 
Norton, Walter, mate of schooner 

" Nancy," 45. 
Norwich, Conn., 1 15. 
Nova Scotia, 2, 9. 
Nye, James W., 152. 

Oakky, Alexander F., 378. 

O'Conor, Charles i^error in lexl), 187. 

O'Connor, Joseph, 367. 

Oglevie, Col. John, boundary com- 
missioner for Great Britain, 2 ; 
death, 2, 14; anecdote, 6; men- 
tioned, 12. 

Ohio River, early trade route, 76; 
travel on, in 1822, 133. 

Ohio City, 334. 

Old Castle, see Kanadesaga. 

Old Fort Forty, 20, 21. 

Old King (" King of Kanadesaga," 
" King of the Senecas," *' Old 
Smoke," " Gui-en-gwa-toh," " Say- 
enqueraghta," " Sakayengwara- 
ton"), his tribal function, 17; 
inaptness of " King'' as title, 17- iS ; 
originator and leader of Wyoming 
expedition, 23, 28-30; his later 
life, ZZ- 

Old Smoke, see Old King. 

Olean, N. Y., post-route to, from 
Buffalo, 313. 

Oneida, John Lay at, 1 28- 1 29. 

Oneida Lake, 40. 

Ongiaharas (Kah-Kwahs), branch of 
Neutrals, q. v. 

Onguiara!, 23 7 « 

Onnontiogas, 244. 

Onondaga Hill, 38. 

Onondaga Hollow, 38. 




\ I 

Onondaga salt, see Salt traffic. 
Ontario County, N. Y., census of, 

Ontario, Lake, 2; survey of islands in, 

4 ; early trade route, 76. 
"Oof T. Goof" [pseud.), see Charles 

H. Harris. 
Oram, Capt. William, 75. 
Oriskany, 21, note, 24. 
Oriskany monument, 375. 
Oswego, Col. Butler at, 27 ; retreat to, 

28; E. D. Efner at, 40; early trade 

route, 76. 
Otis, Maj. C. N., 419. 
Ottawa River, 230, 243. 
Ottawas, the ("Large Ears"), 231, 


PaIxNe, Emily (Mrs. N. K. Hall), 

Papinian, 199. 

Papinachois (Laughters), Indian tribe, 

Park, Dr. Roswell, 375. 

Parker, Jason, 310. 

Parker, Leroy, 375. 

Parker, Mrs. Leroy, see Bessie Chand- 

Parker, Samuel, 49. 

Parkman, Francis, cited, 16. 

Partridge, Capt., 266. 

Passamaquoddy Bay, 2. 

Patching, Tallcut, 342. 

Paulding, J. K., 362. 

Paulus, Julius, 199. 

Payne, Lieut. Lewis S., as Captain 
looth Regt. N. Y. Vols , 417; as 
Lieut.-Col., 423. 

Peacock, William, 77, 144. 

Pedestrian feats and freaks in 1822- 
1823, 136-137. 

Peekskill, N. Y., 309. 

" Pennsylvania wagon " described, 

Perkins, Mrs. E. B., see Susan Chest- 

Perrine, Henry E., 370. 

Perrot, Nicholas. 230. 

Peterborough, N. H., 97. 

Peters, T. C., 274. 

Petersburg, battle of, 421. 

Peterson, Dr. Frederick, 367. 

Petuns, see Tiontates. 

Philadelphia, Gen. Howe's success 

near, 29; John Lay in, 1824, 141- 
142 ; mentioned, 314. 

Philipse Manor, 178. 

Phinney, Frederick, -i^%-^. 

Pickering, Timothy, Postmaster-Gen- 
eral, 309. 

Pierce, Loring, 246 251, 26S. 

Pierce, Dr. Ray V., 378. 

Pigeon River, 9, 10. 

Pittsburg Pike, the, 142-143. 

Pitt, W. H., 374- 

Pittsburg, first steamboat launched at, 
43 ; Scotch-Irihh settlers of, 73 ; 
Wilkesons settle near, 75; men- 
tioned, 133; in 1824, 143. 

Plattsburg, 1 1. 

Plumb, Senator J. B., 22; letter to 
W. C. Bryant, 23-24. 

Plympton, L. K., 418. 

" Poets, The, and Poetry of Buft'alo," 
cited, 368, note. 

Pohenagamook Lake, 10. 

Pohlman, Dr. Julius, 374. 

Point Abino, 240. 

Point Pelee, 4. 

Poland, O., 76. 

Pollard, Capt., 23. 

Polk, James K., his nomination, 1 50: 
events following his election, 151. 

Pomeroy, tavern keeper, 46 

Pomeroy, E. C, 378 

"Pomeroy Mob," 37,46-47. 

Pomeroy, Robert, Jr., 120. 

Pomeroy, Mrs. Robert, 120. 

Port Stanley, Ont., 227. 

Porter, Judge Augustus, 107. 

Porter, town, 40-41. 

Porter, Barton & Co , road made by, 

Porter, James S , 190. 

Porter, Col. Moses, disperses "Pom- 
eroy Mob," 46-47, 

Porter, Gen. Peter B., Ignited States 
Commissioner Boundary Survey, I, 
note : his appointment, 2 ; men- 
tioned, 12, 37, 42, 77; collects 
volunteers in Hutfalo, 52 53. 

Portland, Chautauqua Co., 41, 75/76. 

Post, Simeon, 309. 

" Postal Service, The, of the United 
States in Connection with the Local 
Historl- of HutTalo," by N. K. 
Hall and Thomas Blossom, 209- 
316; ButTalo Creek post-otVice 
established, 300 ; Buffalo posimas- 



ters, 300-301 ; location of ofiice, 
301; receipts of local offices, 301- 
302; early mail routes, 305-310; 
first mail received at l)uffalo, 311- 
312; development of service in 
Western Xe w York , 3 1 2-3 1 4 ; 
reduction of rates, 314-316. 
Pote, Capt. William, Jr., journal of, 

Pottawatamies, 231. 
Potter, Heman B., 78. 
Potter, Dr. \V. W., 377. 
*' Potts & Smith," old Albany firm, 35. 
Potts, Jesse, 35. 
Poughkeepsie, 178,262 ; mail service, 


Pratt & Allen, 77. 

Pratt, Dr. Gorham F., 253 and tiotc. 

Pratt, Hiram, 1 18, 119. 

Pratt, Mary (Mrs. George Burt), 119. 

Pratt, Samuel F , " Life of," cited, 
100; store kept by, 104, 109. 

Pratt, Samuel, Jr., 109. 

Presbyterians, early, in Western Penn- 
sylvania, 72. 

*' President," wreck of, 134 and note. 

Prince Henry's account of wardrobe 
of Poins, 6. 

" Prince John," sonbn'(juet, see John 

Prosser, E. S , 418. 

Puants, 231. 

Putnam, Harvey W., 190. 

Putnam, James O., his tribute to Judge 
George W. Clinton, 218; memoir 
of Nathan Iv. Hall, 285 298 ; post- 
master of Buffalo, 300; his tril9ute 
to Dr. Lord, quoted, 345 ; Dr. 
Lord's sonnet to, 346 ; as author, 

Putney, Vt., 97. 

Quebec, fall of, 15 ; mentioned, 243 ; 
cholera at. 245. 

Quebec Lit. and Hist. Soc, Collec- 
tions of, 236. 

Quebec Province, Ijoundary limits 
fixed, 1. 

"Queen Charlotte." vessel. 45. 

Queen Esther, haif-hreed Indian, 21, 

Queenston, early salt traffic, 41 ; 
mentioned, loi. 

Radcliff, Jacob, 182, 1S4. 

Rafinesque, C. S., 207. 

Ragueneau, Father, cited, 24I. 

Raisin River, 45. 

Ransom, Asa, 38-39. 

Rathbun, George, 152. 

Rathbun's Hotel, 144. 

Rauert, Capt. Charles E., 417, 424. 

Redhook, 309. 

" Red Jacket," schooner, 14. 

Red Jacket, Seneca chief, mentioned, 

126; his speeches, the first Buffalo 

book, 340, 386 414. 
Reed, Mr., sutler at Fort Niagara, 

1S09, 41. 
Reese, David, 104; his blacksmith 

shop, 127, 303. 
Reeve, Judge, 106. 
Remington, Cyrus K., 354. 
Rensselaer School of Science (Poly- 
technic Institute), 206. 
Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 16. 
Rhinebeck, 309. 
Riall, Gen., made prisoner, 5 1. 
Richardson, John, 41. 
Richardson, Capt , 52. 
Richmond, J. i\I., 418. 
Richmond, N. Y., 312. 
Ripley, Gen. E. W., iiS. 
Ripley, Miss Mary A., 362, 365. 
Rittenhouse, David, 4. 
River Detroit, see Detroit River. 
River St. Louis, 8. 
Robertdeau, Maj., 1 1, 12. 
Roberts, B T., 363. 
Robertson, William, historian, 23. 
Robinson, Coleman T., 213. 
Robinson, Lucius, 152. 
" Rochester Rappings," 348. 
Rocliester, Dr. Thomas F., 377. 
Rockwell, Baker ^: Hill, 349. 
Rocky Mountains, li. 
Rogers, Henry W., 210; and wife, 

Rogers, Robert Cameron, 367, 370. 
Rogers, Hon. .Sherman S., 375. 
Rohlfs, Mrs. Charles, see Anna 

Katharine Green. 
" Romans of the West," 15. 
Roman- Dutch laws, 164- 105. 
Roosevelt. Mrs., of Pelham, 98. note. 
Root,"Cien. Erastus, 182. 
Root, [ohn, counselor, anecdotes of, 

68, 73-74- 
" Rosetta Stone," the, replica of, in 

Buf. Hist. Soc. Museum, 424. 



Rough, Capt. James, of schooner 

'* Nancy," 45. 
Rouse's Point, 9; site for fort, li. 
Rowe's Tavern, Salt Point, 41. 
Ruggles, Charles H., 187, 189. 
Rural Cemetery, Albany, 221. 
Russel, Judge Samuel, 300-301. 
Russell, Charles Theodore, 368. 
Russell, Henry P., 300. 
Ryan, Rt. Rev. Stephen Vincent, 355, 


Sackett's (more properly Sacket's) 

Harbor, 37. 
Sackett, John B., 300, note. 
Sackrider, John, 37. 
Safford, E.'M. H., 41. 
Sagard, Gabriel, 230, 234. 
St. Albans, Vt., 36. 
St. Andrews, N. B., 2. 
St. Clair, Gen., 23. 
St. Clair lake and river, 2; boundary 

survey through, 4. 
St. Croix River, point on boundary 

survey, 2, 3, 9. 
St. Francis River, lo. 
St. Gabriel, mission, 233. 
St. George's (Sugar) Island, 8, lo. 
St. John, Mrs., after burning of Buf- 
falo, 49, 303. 
St. John River, 10. 
St. Joseph (Huron village), 236. 
St. Ignace, island, 234. 
St. Lawrence (Iroquois) River, 2; 

survey of, as boundary, 4, 7, 9 ; 

mentioned, 230, 232. 
St. Leger, Gen., 27-28. 
St.-Mary-on-the-Wye, 23S. 
St. Mary's River,2; partial survey of,5,8. 
St. Michael (Khioetoa), 238. 
St. Peter, Lake, 234. 
St. Regis, 4. 
St. William, 238. 

Salem, Washington Co., N. Y., 35. 
Salisbury, Guy H., " The Speculative 

Craze of '36," 317-337; as author, 

Salisbury, Hezekiah A., 340-341. 
Salisbury, Smith H., 340. 
Salt as legal tender, 41. 
Salt Point, 41. 
Salt trattic, 75-76. 
Sandfbrd, Nathan, 1S2, 189, 
Sandusky Point, 4. 
Sanson's map, 228. 

Santa Anna, 149. 

Saraghtoga, 28. 

Sardinia, N. Y., early post route, 314. 

" Sargon Stone," the, replica of, in 

Buf. Hist. Soc. Museum, 424. 
Saugeens, 231. 
Sauteurs (Chippewas), 231. 
Savannah, Ga., 312. 
Sawyer, Nathaniel, 158. 
Sawyer, Thomas J., 347. 
Sayenqueraghta, Sayenquerahta, Sak- 

ayengwaraton, Sakayenguaraghton, 

see Old King. 
Scaevola, Qu. Mucius, 199. 
Scajaquada's Creek, 51. 
Schermerhorn, Isaac M., 300, note. 
Schenectady, 30, 37 ; mail service in 

1794, 309- 

Schlosser (Schlosser's, Slusher's),40, 

' 76, 127. 

Schools, Common, 197. 

Schumaker, John G., 190. 

Schuyler, Rev. Montgomery, 347, 360. 

Schuyler, Fort, see Fort Schuyler. 

Scoharie Co., N. Y., 35. 

Scoharie Creek, 35. 

Scotch-Irish in American Revolution, 
72; settlers in Western Penna., 73. 

Scotch wedding customs, 1822, 138. 

Scott, John, 77. 

Scott, John Martin, 173. 

Scott, Sir Walter, 134. 

Scott, Gen. Winfield, at Fort George, 
48; at Lundy's Lane, 51. 

Scott, Dr. W. K., 272 and tiote. 

Scroggs, Gen. G. A., 417. 

Sealey, Celia, 366. 

Seamen's Friend Society, 383. 

Seaver, Charlotte L., 366. 

Secord, Mrs., 128. 

Seely's, Mrs., 144. 

Seigniories, French, on Lake Cham- 
plain, 184. 

Sellstedt, L. G., mentioned, 245, 
note: paper on '* Rosweil Willson 
Haskins," 257-2S4. 

Seneca Falls in iSoS, 38. 

Seneca White, 19. 

Senecas, their early location, 235 ; 
war with Neutrals, 242-244. 

Severance, Frank IL, " The Journeys 
and Jour nalsofan I^.irly Buffalo Mer- 
chant," 1 2$- 145; "Random Notes on 
the .Authors of Buffalo," 339-380. 

Seward, Gov. William IL, 289. 



Seymour, Origen Storrs, 113. 

Seymour, Osias, 113. 

Shalloe, Agnes, 366. 

Shays' Rebellion, a Puritan outbreak, 

Shea, John Gilmary, cited, 233. 
Shearer, Thomas, 48. 
Sheldon, Alexander J., 94. 
Sheldon, Miss Grace Carew, 372. 
Sheldon, Hon. James, 351. 
SheMon, Rev. Dr., 378. j 

Sheldon, N. Y., early postal service, 

Shepard, Frederick L., 351. 
Sherman, Isaac, 152. 
Sherwood, Thomas F., 89, 90, 210. 
Shonnonkeritoin, an Onondaga, 242, 
Sigourney, Mrs. Lydia H., 361-362. 
Sizer, Henry H., 77. 
Sizer, Thomas J., 378. 
Skaneateles, 38. 

Slaves in Western New York, 303. 
Sloan, James, 42-43. 
Slocum, W. H., 378. 
Sloughter, Gov. Henry, 171. 
Smith, Henry K., 210, 300, 375. 
Smith, Isaac, 88. 
Smith, Judge James C, 151. 
Smith, Nehemiah, 35. 
Smith, Pat, speculating saddler of 

1836, 323. 
Smith, Capt. Richard, 45. 
Smith, Rev. Stephen R., 346, ^73. 
Smith, W. L. G., 349. 
Smith, William, in Provincial Congress 

of 1776, 173,184- 
Smoke's Creek, -^t^. 
Sod us Bay, 41. 

Sohm, Rudolph, cited, 199, 20O. 
Sorcerers, Indian tribe, see Nipis- 

Southerland, Jacob, 1S2. 
'• Southwold Earthworks, The," 227- 

Sovereign, Philip, 112. 
Spalding, Lyman A., 265. 
Spaulding, Hon. E. G., mentioned, 

359; as author, 376. 
Spayth, Henry, 377. 
"Speculative Craze of '36, The" 

paper by Guy H. Salisbury, 317-337. 
Spencer, Ambrose, Chief Justice, 182, 

189; advises George W. Clinton to 

study law, 208. 
Spencer, John C, 208. 

Sprague, E. C, his tribute to Judge 
Clinton, 209-210; as author, 375. 

Springfield, Mass., 314. 

Springfield, O., 44. 

Springweiler, Philip W., 190. 

Squaw Island, 25 1. 

Squier, Rev. Miles P., D. D , 343. 

Stagg, Mrs., 86. 

Stanton, Hon. Edwin M., 420.- 

Stanwix, Fort, 27, 28, 29, 31. 

Starr, Dr. Elmer, 377. 

States-General of Holland, sover- 
eignty in New York Colony, 163- 

Stedman, Edmund Clarence, 366. 

Steele, O. G., as journeyman book- 
binder, 267 ; as Supt. of Schools, 
274, 296; as publisher, 348,355. 

Steele, William H., 190. 

Stenhouse, Mr., friend of Burns, 136. 

Stevens, 'S., 341. 

Stevenson, Alexander, 12. 

Stewart, Matilda, 366. 

Stillson, Jerome B., 364. 

Stockbridge, Vt., 97. 

Stocking, Joseph, 40, 47. 

Stone, Col. William L., cited, 19, 22, 

Stone, William L. (son of Col. Wm. 

L.), 350- 

Storrs, Daniel, 105, 107. 

Storrs, Juba, birth, 105 ; comes to 
Buffalo in i8o8, 106; admitted to 
the bar, first clerk of Niagara Co., 
107; Storrs & Co., operations of, 
108-116; effect of war, 117; dis- 
astrous ventures, 122; integrity 
after failure, 124; his portrait, 383. 

Storrs, Juba, firm of, & Co., 93-I24; 
Indian Show of, 415-416. 

Storrs, Gen. Lucius, 94, 107, 112; 
business journeys, 116; at Erie 
and Buffalo, 12 1- 1 23; mentioned, 

Storrs, Ruth Conant, 105. 
Storrs, Seth, 105. 
Storrs, Zalmon, 1 1 3. 
Stoughton, Hon. E. W., tribute to 

Judge N. K. Hall, 292-293. 
Stow, Cieorge, 49. 
Stow, Judge Horatio J., 1S7, 37I. 
Stowe, Mrs.llarri^^t B., 349. 
Stowits, Maj. George H.,351, 423. 
Street, .Alfred B., 361. 
Stringer, George Alfred, 354. 




Stryker, Hon. James, 341. 

Stuart, Mr., missionary, 25. 

Stuyvesant, Potrus, 166, 168. 

Sullivan, Gen., -i^T^, 204. 

Sullivan, village, 38. 

Sullivan, Thomas A., 190. 

Sumner, Charles, 285. 

Superior, Lake, international bounda- 
ry survey, 5, 8, 10. 

" Superior," steamboat, 42, 75 ; inci- 
dent of building, 88. 

Susquehanna River, 29. 

Swan, Jonathan, 89, note. 

Swartz, Mrs., of Angola, 99. 

Sweeney, James, 48 - 49 ; relieves 
wounded after Fort Erie explosion, 
52; partnership with Efner, 53. 

Swift's Regiment, 37. 

Syracuse in 1808, i^. 

Tadoussac, 230. 

Tallmadge, Gen. James, 187. 

Talmadge, Charles, 37 ; T. & Mul- 
let, 40. 

Tanner, Dorothy (Mrs. Henry E. 
Montgomery), 370. 

Tanner, Henry, 353. 

Tarcapines, 230. 

Taylor, Martin, Buffalo publisher,358. 

Taylor, Gen. Zachary, 154, 162, 

Tecumseh, 43. 

Tellico Plains, Tenn., 69, 84. 

Temiscamingue, Lake, 230. 

Temiscamingues, tribe, 230. 

Terrace, the, in Buffalo, beautiful 
view from in 1S08, 39. 

Texas, acquisition of, 149- 151, 

Thames, battle of, 76. 

Thanksgiving Customs in New Eng- 
land, 1823, 140; in New York, 141. 

Thayendanegea, see Joseph Brant. 

"The Battle of Chippewa," drama, 

Thomas, David, 89, and note. 
Thomas's " Buffalo City Directory," 

cited, 317. 
Thompson, David, 12, 13. 
Thompson, Rev. M. La Rue P.,D.D., 


Thornton, G. H., 37S. 

Three Rivers, 27, 28. 

Ticark, Dr., 13. 

Tigner, Jason, 40. 

Tilden, Samuel J., 152, 157 ; in Con- 
stitutional Conventions, 1S7, 1S9, 

Tillinghast, Dyre, 246, 254, 268- 

269, 341. 
Timon, Rt. Rev. John, D. D., 355. 
Tiontates (Petuns, Tobacco Indians), 

231, 232, 234, 243. 
Tippecanoe, battle of, 44. 
Tobacco Indians, see Tiontates. 
Todrig, Mrs. L. N., 366. 
Tompkins, Daniel C, President third 

New York Constitutional Conven- 
tion, 182, 189. 
Tonawanda, 423. 
Tonawanda Creek, 54, 310. 
Tonchain, Huron village, 234. 
Toronto (Little York), E. D. Efner at. 

3S-39 ; Benj. Caryl at, 99; cholera 

of 1832, 245. 
" Tory" defined, 135. 
Totten, Col., 11. 

Townsend, Judge Charles, 77, 78, 79. 
Townsend, E. Corning, 375. 
Townsend, Samuel, 173. 
Townsend, Virginia F., 362. 
Townsend & Coit, 37, 77, 88, iii. 
Townsend, Lord, present to Joseph 

Brant, 25. 
Townsend, Canada, 99, ill, 1 12, 

Townsend, Windham Co., Vt., 9S, 

To^vson's battery, 51-52. 
Tracy, Albert H , 78, 130; his ac- 
count of a scrimmage, 132; in 

Washington, I42. 
Tracy, John, President fourth New 

York Constitutional Convention, 

187, 189. 
Tracy, Phineas, 130. 
Treaty of Ghent, 1814, 2, 9, lo. 
Treaty of 1783, fixing U. S.-Canada 

boundary, 2, 9, 10. 
Treaty of Utrecht, 186. 
Treaty of Westminster, 169. 
Treaty, Washington, or Webster- 

Ashburton, 3, 9, II. 
Tremain, Lyman, 157. 
Tribunals of Conciliation, 1S7. 
''Triton," ship, 134. 
Trowbridge & Marshall, 246, 253. 
Troy, N. v., 261. 
Truago, aml)ush at, 18 12, 45. 
Truax, ^idge Charles H., 190. 
Tryon, William, 174. 
Tucker, Gideon J., 190. 
Tully, Dr., 207. 



Turner, Chipman P., 350. 

Turner, O., "Hist. Holland Pur- 
chase," cited, 106-107, 311 ; 
•• Phelps & Gorham Purchase," 
cited, 302, 310 ; as author, 349-350. 

Turner, William, 190. 

Tuscaroras, 231. 

Twain, Mark (Samuel L. Clemens), 

Tyler, John, events in Administration 
of, 150. 

Ulpi.\n, 199, 200, 

University of the State of New York, 

United States, 2. 
Upper Mohawk Town, 28. 
Urbana, O., 44. 
Utica in 1808, 37; E. D. Efner at, 

37-38; first mail at, 309; early 

mail service, 313-314. 
Utley, Mrs. Horace, 69. 

Valentine & Collins, survey by, 10. 

VanBuren, John, at Herkimer con- 
vention, 152; his orator}-, 153; at 
Buffalo Free Soil Convention, 157. 

VanBuren, Martin, 150, 159, i6r ; in 
third New York Constitutional 
Convention, 182, 189; mentioned, 

VanBuren, N. Y., 334-335- 

Vandenburgh, F. P., 375. 

Van der Donck's patroonship, 185. 

Vandeventer, Mrs., 49. 

Vandeventer's house, 38. 

VanDuzee, Edward P., 374. 

VanHorn, Maj., his defeat at Truago, 


VanNess, Cornelius, of Vermont, 
United States Boundary Commis- 
sioner, 2. 

VanNess, William P., 184.